Tuesday October 10 2017
ADL: ‘Don’t talk about Napoli now’

Aurelio De Laurentiis looks to calm the excitement surrounding Napoli - “we want to be first at the end of March”.

The Partenopei have won their first seven games of the season, giving them a two point lead over Juventus, but the President doesn’t want to enter a war of words with the Bianconeri.

“We don’t want to wake the sleeping dog,” De Laurentiis told Tuttomercatoweb.

“We want them to think, we’re not going to tease them. We just want to put the blinkers on and try to stretch the gap.

“We want to be first at the end of March, right now it doesn’t mean anything. The league has been revolutionised though, and it’s more entertaining now.

“There are five very strong teams, Lazio are up there too. Don’t despair, even if for journalists it’s enough to lose one game for a disaster, or if you win one there’s talk of champions.”

Maurizio Sarri has been the architect behind Napoli’s rise, but he wasn’t necessarily a popular appointment.

“They wrote terrible things about me all over the city, and a few in the Curva wrote that I was wrong to take him.

“It was a lot of fun, because he said to me: ‘Presidente, I will lose the first six games’. I replied: ‘My love, it’s better to win right away here, have you seen these slogans?’.

“He was very good in that regard though, he got rid of the idea of a trequartista, since I hadn’t bought [Riccardo] Saponara, but he had geniuses like [Dries] Mertens, [Lorenzo] Insigne, [Gonzalo] Higuain, [Jose] Callejon.

“How do you play them? He changed and won one after another, becoming very strong.”

It was rumoured that Napoli were interested in Federico Chiesa of Fiorentina this summer…

“I asked the Della Valle brothers,” De Laurentiis admitted.

“I’m a little hard of hearing though, so then I asked [sporting director Pantaleo] Corvino and he said no. If you want to sell him, at least let me know, among friends.”

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