Saturday September 22 2012
De La: 'Napoli's Scudetto year'

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis reassures Walter Mazzarri and tells fans “this could be the right year to win the Scudetto.”

The Partenopei have been challengers in recent years and have started this campaign with a 100 per cent record.

Last term they struggled to balance Champions League commitments with Serie A, but the 4-0 Europa League win over AIK with a second string side including an Edu Vargas hat-trick suggests it could be different.

“This could be the right year to win the Scudetto,” smiled De Laurentiis to newspaper Il Mattino.

“I have to underline the ‘could’ in that sentence, because every year we target the best we can get. We completed our Champions League cycle with good results, but this time we have two competitive sides who can cover all competitions.

“It’s a pity for those who turned their noses up at Vargas, because they’re going to have to change their minds. We don’t buy players for no reason, as there is a selection process performed with an almost maniacal sense of precision.

“The time when bigger clubs would snatch champions from our grasp is gone.

“We are an extraordinary group, a virtuoso network enjoying their football and who always want to win. Mazzarri is the first to feel that way.”

The Coach has a contract until June 2013 and recently refused to discuss a renewal.

“It’s no problem,” assured the President. “That’s what Mazzarri is like. He plays Lazio on Wednesday, but right now they aren’t even remotely in his thoughts, as his only objective is the next match. I don’t want to disturb his working methods. When both of us consider it the right time, we will talk about a renewal.”

There were already delays around star striker Edinson Cavani’s contract renewal, but that was completed last month.

“I flew to Cardiff during the Olympics with Cavani’s agent and our general manager. He was very busy in training and there wasn’t even a room in his hotel available for us to stay in. We’d hold negotiations in fits and starts, in-between Cavani’s training sessions with Uruguay.

“At the end of the day we finalised the terms in my Rome office and then signed the contract at the Castelvolturno training ground.”