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Napoli owner De Laurentiis raises Sarri asking price, as Conte begins work — report

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ADL wants €20m for his surplus to requirements head coach

Italian Football Federation ‘Panchine D’Oro E D’Argento’ Prize Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

I’m not a huge fan of Tuttosport as a source, especially second-hand, but it’s unclear if we can truly trust any report from any source in the Italian football media these days, especially when it comes to Maurizio Sarri, so we might as well see what they have to say.

According to Tuttosport (via Football Italia), Aurelio De Laurentiis has raised his asking price for his (former-ish) head coach from €8m to €20m. The story does fit warnings from some weeks ago that once Sarri’s release clause expires, who knows what De Laurentiis would ask in return. Chelsea were unwilling to pay that €8m release clause, which expired at the end of May, and we’ve made very little apparent progress on signing Sarri, despite multiple days of reported negotiations.

De Laurentiis also has a history of stringing teams (including Chelsea) along by steadily increasing his asking price (Koulibaly from a couple years ago comes to mind).

The €20m is certainly the high end of recently rumored demands from the Napoli owner. Earlier reports thought a deal could be made at €4-5m, others thought that once July hit, Chelsea might even do it for free. Some versions include a player sent in exchange as well, which Tuttosport actually dismiss, saying that ADL only wants cash and not just the €8m.

All that said, if Napoli are actually asking for that much more compensation, at least it makes sense why Chelsea haven’t been able to complete the deal. If we weren’t willing to pay €8m, we certainly won’t want to pay €20m.

Meanwhile, preseason preparations have begun and Conte is set to take training on Monday (or Tuesday). Maybe it’s time for us, the team, and the front office to support the head coach?