Maurizio Sarri returns to face “abandoned wife” Empoli, but the Napoli Coach has a Premier League dream.
The Stadio Castellani game kicks off on Sunday at 14.00 UK time (13.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“This is a fixture Napoli absolutely have to win,” agent Alessandro Pellegrini told TV Luna.
“The Empoli fans will feel a bit like an abandoned wife and it is different without Sarri. They may well feel betrayed that he decided to leave and seeing him so early into the season could re-open the wound that hasn’t quite healed yet.”
Sarri is still looking for his first win with the Partenopei, but the agent insists he’s not feeling the pressure.
“At Empoli in three years I think he went out four times. He lives only for the training ground and the pitch, so he never goes into the city. Perhaps that’s why he doesn’t feel the excessive passion of the Napoli fans.”
The Coach isn’t the only familiar face at the Castellani, as Mirko Valdifiori and Elseid Hysaj also made the move to Napoli this summer.
“No signing was made specifically to Sarri’s request. The Coach only listed various names. He asked for a deep-lying playmaker and they gave him Valdifiori. He asked for a full-back and they brought Hysaj.
“Riccardo Saponara is the only player Sarri really wanted to bring with him from Empoli, but as I said, he’s not that interested in names.”
Sarri has earned comparisons with Arrigo Sacchi for his style of football, but the representative revealed a clash over his future.
“Sarri always said he’d love to manage in the Premier League. I can’t understand why he wants to go to England. I’d bring him to Spain, because only there would he be allowed the freedom to express his style of football to the full, but the Premier League was always his wish.”