Luciano Spalletti requested a year-long sabbatical for this season, but he may be taking over at Italy. Fresh off leading Napoli to the Scudetto, Spalletti looks ready to take over as head coach of the Italy national team. Former head coach Roberto Mancini resigned on August 13 with the side in the middle of Euro 2024 qualifying.
However, despite Spalletti agreeing to take over, there is a major hurdle that both he and Italy face. Spalletti only left Napoli on a sabbatical. He said that he simply needed to rest after helping Napoli to two successful seasons. La Gazzetta dello Sport says it may not be so easy for Italy to hire him, even if he is not coaching Italy.
The Italian soccer federation, or FIGC, must pay Napoli if it wants to hire Luciano Spalletti. Spalletti still had a year remaining on his Napoli contract after the conclusion of the title-winning 2022/23 campaign. Even though he is not at the club, that one-year contract remains intact. Most thought that a clause in his contract required only clubs to pay Napoli to hire Spalletti. However, Napoli lawyer Mattia Grassani ensures the clause applies to both clubs and national teams.
Italy has no intention of paying a club to hire a coach. For reference, it has never paid any club to bring a coach on. There would be major concerns if it paid an Italian club to hire a manager, particularly the one that just won the title.
Italy looking to Spalletti to reverse recent blushes
That domestic success with Napoli is something the Italian federation wants to emulate. Granted, Italy did win the most recent European Championship. In qualifying for Euro 2024, Italy lost to England at home in a rematch of the 2020 Final. In the UEFA Nations League, Italy finished third, which is the second time it earned a bronze medal in that competition.
The goal for Italy remains to get back into and competing for the World Cup. In addition to winning Serie A, Spalletti led Napoli to the Champions League quarterfinals. That is Napoli’s best finish in the history of the UEFA Champions League.
PHOTO: IMAGO / LaPresse
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