Napoli and their owner Aurelio De Laurentiis have not made life easy for Chelsea this summer, though Chelsea have not done themselves too much favor either with the club’s new-found incompetence at changing head coaches.
But the two clubs might do more than just the one deal for Maurizio Sarri this summer, even with Chelsea apparently agreeing to a “gentlemen’s agreement” to not poach Napoli players on release clauses, so perhaps some sort of annoyance-balance might be achieved.
One name who’s popped up a couple times now is David Luiz, first mooted as a potential swap piece in a deal for Sarri, now linked for an actual transfer fee. A what a fee it would be!
According to Naples-based newspaper Il Mattino (via Football Italia), Napoli’s new manager, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti wants to bring the curly haired one to the Stadio San Paolo and is urging the club to part with upwards of €30 million to do so. Ancelotti worked with David Luiz for six months back in 2011, though it wasn’t exactly a dream partnership.
While the report claims that David Luiz is seen as an ideal partner to Kalidou Koulibaly, this transfer doesn’t fit with Napoli’s modus operandi at all. Although De Laurentiis claims he does not sell his players just to generate profit (or coaches, for that matter), the evidence is quite strong for a typical “buy low, sell high” approach to the transfer market. Acquiring a 31-year-old defender for €30 million with basically no resale value does not fit that pattern.
And then there is David Luiz himself. He has a year left on his contract and is reportedly more than happy to stay, especially if Conte leaves (which is likely, if a very slow process). So this is yet another area where settling the head coaching situation is imperative.