Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis held a Twitter press conference, answering questions on Edinson Cavani offers, “monogamous” Rafa Benitez and more.
The patron set up the event in order to interact with supporters around the world, ruling out the middle man.
Naturally, the first question was about Cavani and whether the sought-after striker had been set an ultimatum.
“Cavani has a contract for another four years and a buy-out clause worth €63m,” was the response.
“We have received many offers for Cavani, but all of them were much lower than the buy-out clause. Benitez? He likes Cavani.
“Juan Camilo Zuniga and Valon Behrami will remain at Napoli. Marekiaro (Marek Hamsik) understood Naples has the most beautiful sea in the world and he wants to swim in it for a long time.
“For those who ask if we will target the Scudetto or Champions League, I reply that our priority will always be to aim for the best. Do I believe in the Scudetto? Certainly.”
New Coach Benitez will be given his presentation to the fans and media on June 21 at the Castel Volturno training ground.
“Many have asked me why I chose Benitez: because he won a great deal in his career and is a monogamous sort, seeing as he was at Liverpool for many years.”
This comment harks back to De Laurentiis comparing Walter Mazzarri to “a wife who wants to sleep with someone else. Money won’t be enough to stop them.”
When asked when he understood Mazzarri was going to quit, the President gave a surprising reply.
“I had worked that out two years ago. Should I have fired him earlier? What’s the point in sacking such a good Coach?
“Benitez was also picked due to his synergic approach to the youth academy. He asked for the Primavera and other youth teams to play with the same tactical system as the senior squad.
“I personally contacted 10 different Coaches and in the end I chose Benitez because he was the most convincing.”
Italian clubs are eager to build their own stadiums and De Laurentiis is no different, albeit with some adjustments for the iconic venue.
“I would like to maintain the Stadio San Paolo, but also completely renovate it,” added De Laurentiis.
“To preserve Financial Fair Play, there ought to be an overall salary cap and a larger Champions League, abolishing the Europa League.
“We are studying a role for Gianluca Grava within the club, but I haven’t decided what it will be yet. As for the transfer market, we must first carefully examine what we’ve got in house before seeking what to buy from the outside.
“I never considered selling the club. Where do I see Napoli in two or three years? In the same direction as the evolution of football.
“Serie A should be reduced to 18 teams in order to survive, but down to 16 to live with dignity.”
Meanwhile, he confirmed the cheerleaders project will be experimented from the start of next season and that he was “studying the best option” to buy an English satellite club in the style of Watford for Udinese.
“They don’t know it yet, but the players will have a role in my next film,” added the movie mogul.
“The most special game so far was at the San Paolo against Chelsea. The toughest moment was the first two minutes after we failed to gain promotion into Serie B.”
De Laurentiis was meant to hold the Q&A for 90 minutes, but instead stayed for around two hours before departing to eat the Neapolitan ragu sauce that had been simmering throughout the event.
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