Aurelio De Laurentiis indicates Ezequiel Lavezzi’s future is up to the player, but warns that no club will appreciate him as much as Napoli.
Lavezzi, who has a €32m buyout clause in his contract at the San Paolo, has been linked with a move away this summer, something that his club President has previously admitted is a possibility.
However, asked further on the subject today and on Goran Pandev’s temporary replacement of him in the first team, De Laurentiis looked to appeal to Lavezzi to understand his connection with his current team.
“In my opinion we have great players, some who have expressed themselves more prominently and continuously and others who are doing now because they might not have had a previous opportunity to do so. I am very satisfied with my players and I want to thank them for their professionalism.
“They are decent and the dressing room is extremely well put together. After the disappointment in London I did have to intervene, because I didn’t want to see sad faces - I understand their state of mind, they are young.
“However, they must be content to stay with us - the club is strong, wages are paid regularly - I’m still paying players who are no longer with us even.
“Lavezzi? He is a Neapolitan born and bred, although no-one knows this, he has the virus that has entered his blood.
“If he goes or doesn’t go to Russia or if he goes or doesn’t go elsewhere, he will remain a Neapolitan.
“If he plays elsewhere, they will not recognise many of his characteristics that are viewed positively here. If he chooses to go, it could be worse for him. Seriously, I want Ezequiel to do well. He has given me some terrific days in Serie A.”
ADL also commented on Napoli’s return to the driving seat in the race for the final Champions League qualification position.
“I have seen all the games from China [where he is currently working]. Now we are the masters of our own destiny. The variables are many and just around the corner, we cannot be distracted for even a moment. Certainly this championship has been really interesting is balanced.”
The Vesuviani travel north to face Bologna this weekend for a game the President hopes his team will be strongly supported for.
“I hope there are 10,000 Neapolitan fans at the Dall’Ara. Last year, half the stadium spoke Neapolitan, it was a great feeling with excitement and involvement. We felt a true Neapolitan solidarity. It would be nice if we could get 20,000 fans in Bologna on Sunday. The penultimate day can play a decisive role, in what I want to say has been a year that has given us considerable satisfaction already.”