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Sarri agent dismisses all Chelsea talk as legal battle commences

Napoli are paying the salaries of both Sarri and Ancelotti.

SSC Napoli v Torino FC - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Maurizio Sarri’s agent appears to have dismissed any links with Chelsea on Friday, though the situation is probably much more complicated than his brief sound bite makes it out to be. Is he taking a shot at Chelsea? Is he taking a shot at Napoli? Does he just want to be left alone? All of the above?

“Chelsea? Non so chi sia il Chelsea, una squadra di calcio? Ora è del Napoli, non ti so dire altro“

That’s all there is to it, and that basically translates to:

“Chelsea? I don’t know who Chelsea are, a football club? Now it’s only Napoli; I cannnot tell you any more.”

Many outlets who have reported this interaction have cut off the second half of the second sentence, which provides needed context to try to make any sense of what comes before it.

The exact meaning of “now it’s only Napoli” (we only know about Napoli? now it’s up to Napoli? for now he belongs to Napoli? we’re only concerned about Napoil?) is debatable, but Sarri has become embroiled in a legal battle with Napoli to try to get out of his contract, since no team, including Chelsea, have been willing to pay his release clause so far. It’s fairly standard practice for any and all parties involved to not comment on an active legal proceeding.

It should be noted that the interview with the agent was conducted on the street as he was rushing off to do whatever he was in the process of doing. This is hardly a proper way to conduct an interview. Watch:

Gli chiedono del Chelsea, l'agente di Sarri glissa così! "Cos'è, una squadra di calcio?"

Posted by Spazio Napoli on Friday, June 1, 2018

Sarri’s agent wasn’t the only one to say something on Friday, though he was the closest to the situation to talk. Elsewhere, law experts were gathering around the microphones to give their take on the situation. Here’s one who took the club’s side.

“I don’t think the club has to worry about anything, because the contractual rapport between Napoli and Sarri is perfectly clear. The Coach is still under contract, the current situation is linear. This is a matter looked after personally by (Napoli President Aurelio) De Laurentiis, the clause has expired.

“Faced with a consistent behaviour from the club, anyone who wants Sarri will have to negotiate directly with Napoli. Sarri is under contract until June 30, 2019. The change of Coach to Ancelotti was obligatory, seeing as Sarri did not give a response to our offer of a new contract.

“If there are no new developments, then Napoli will continue to pay both Sarri and Ancelotti.”

“[Sarri] could offer his resignation, but it would not interrupt the contract. Napoli have already warned other clubs interested in Sarri that he is still on the payroll of this side. There are no clauses that allow Sarri to negotiate with other clubs without Napoli’s consent.

“The club has a contract to fall back on. Talking about termination for unfair dismissal is inappropriate and does not fit the situation. Going to a tribunal is also a remote possibility.”

-Mattia Grassani; source: Radio Marte via Football Italia

We can easily understand Sarri’s angle — they hired another person to do his job, created a hostile working environment and essentially forced him to resign (which he would first have to actually do) ... surely a case for constructive dismissal — but this particular lawyer certainly seems to think Napoli have a strong case as well. Then again, if they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t have allowed the situation to devolve to this point in the first place.

Sarri has also become linked with Real Madrid and Spurs since Zinedine Zidane’s shock resignation in the Spanish capital yesterday, so perhaps one of them will be willing to do what Chelsea were not, are not, and apparently will not be willing do. For now however, the fight is in the hands of the lawyers ... and that is never a quick process.

Meanwhile, Chelsea may have actually moved on from this nonsense and turned their attentions to Laurent Blanc? Or, and now with added emphasis, how about we just keep Conte and spend some time and money on the squad instead?

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