Carlo Ancelotti confirmed Lorenzo Insigne will extend his Napoli contract, while dropping hints on Hirving Lozano, Kieran Trippier and Nicolò Barella.
The game with Cagliari kicks off on Sunday at 19.30 UK time (18.30 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“This encounter is important to defend second place, but we also want to reach 80 points and end the season well. The team is giving off positive signals and there are no signs of fatigue,” assured the Coach in his Press conference.
“Raul Albiol has recovered and will start tomorrow. He probably doesn’t have 90 minutes in his legs, but he is an important player and we have missed his experience and character. We’re not evaluating players for next season, as those decisions have been made.”
As transfer rumours continue to swirl, most of the questions were about the potential changes to this squad.
“We’ve been planning the future for a while and it is a continual evolution. I don’t want to be a Coach in a more directorial role, as it would take up too much of my time and we have people dealing with all that. I don’t want to do anything other than be a Coach.
“We had this meeting with Insigne, who reiterated he wants to stay and extend his contract. We never wanted to sell him and the last week served to confirm all of that.”
There are very few tickets sold for this game, only around 10,000, as the Napoli ultras are protesting at what they deem to be poor results.
“In Italy, the fans are tied to the team, but not so much the directors or club owners. A fan ought to be focused on the colour of the jersey. For example, in England there are club owners from all over the globe, but the fans remain committed to the club colours.”
Ancelotti was asked about today’s reports that Lozano of PSV Eindhoven is practically agreed for €40m, while Tottenham man Trippier’s wife is said to be in Naples.
“I don’t like talking about players who are elsewhere. Trippier’s wife may well be here because it’s a beautiful city to visit. There are players we are evaluating, but there are negotiations, players who might not want to move, etc. There are players we are interested in and that’s all I’ll say.
“As for Nicolò Barella, he is a player we appreciate, but not one of those we are currently interested in. We want to improve the quality, intensity and experience in the squad. Nobody has told me they want to leave and we don’t need to chain anyone down.
“The tactical system will not change next season, so we’ll defend with a 4-4-2 and vary in attack depending on the situation, much as we have done this season.”
Naturally, Ancelotti had a message for his former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who is in hospital after suffering a heart attack during FC Porto’s training session.
“It went well for him, all things considered, and we are all very happy about that. I worked with him for two years and he lifted every trophy I won in Madrid.
“He might not be able to keep playing, but he has given so much to the sport and can now enjoy a different lifestyle.”
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