Napoli owner confirms Gattuso departure after missing out on Champions League

The Italian manager’s two-year reign at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona is over following their 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed the departure of head coach Gennaro Gattuso after the team missed out on Champions League qualification.

Gattuso’s side went into their final game of the season against Hellas Verona knowing that a victory would secure their place in Serie A’s top four, but they came unstuck in front of their fans at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Napoli were held to a 1-1 draw while Milan beat Atalanta to move into second and Juventus thrashed Bologna to snatch the final Champions League spot, with De Laurentiis subsequently revealing that changes will now be made in the dugout.

What’s been said?

The Napoli chairman took to social media to bid Gattuso farewell, thanking him for his work at the club over the past two years.

“Dear Rino, I am happy to have spent almost two seasons with you,” De Laurentiis wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for your work and I wish you success wherever you go. A hug also to your wife and children.”

Meanwhile, Napoli’s official account posted an image of Gattuso with the caption: “Thank you, boss!”

Gattuso’s record at Napoli

Gattuso was drafted in to replace Carlo Ancelotti in the Napoli hot seat back in December 2020, and seven months later he managed to deliver the club’s first trophy in six seasons in the Coppa Italia.

However, Napoli finished 2019-20 down in seventh in the Serie A standings, and although they have picked up 15 more points this time around, Gattuso has paid the price for failing to guide the club back into the Champions League.

Who is in contention to succeed Gattuso?

Maurizio Sarri has been touted as the most likely man to become Napoli’s next manager, with the Italian having already enjoyed a successful spell at the club between 2015 and 2018.

Sarri has been out of work since being sacked by Juventus last year and would be available immediately, but Lazio’s Simone Inzaghi and outgoing Roma boss Paulo Fonseca have also been linked with the role.

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