Saturday December 24 2016
ADL: 'Napoli are entertainers'

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis confirms Genoa striker Leonardo Pavoletti’s medical, can’t wait for Real Madrid and thanks Maurizio Sarri for “entertainment.”

The centre-forward is expected to make the move for €15m plus bonuses and should have his tests on December 28.

“Pavoletti will have his medical over the next few days, so we hope he is in good shape,” De Laurentiis told Sky Sport Italia.

In the absence of injured Arkadiusz Milik, Dries Mertens has emerged as an exceptional False 9, scoring eight goals in three Serie A games.

“Mertens showed himself to be not a False 9, but a Real 9,” joked the President.

“Napoli have no weaknesses, this squad simply hasn’t yet been enjoyed to the full. Maurizio Sarri is smart and focused, he leads the team for the club and for himself.

“Some Coaches constantly demand new players and others just get on with the job and let the club get on with theirs. Sarri deserves great credit for entertaining the fans and you can tell the team is enjoying its football on the pitch too.

“Nobody can complain if every now and then there’s a momentary distraction, because when I watch other teams play, I fall asleep…

“This marriage between Napoli and Sarri is bearing fruit. I think the only gap with Juventus is off the pitch. They don’t look that strong, but are very consistent and have this unshakeable belief.”

The Partenopei also qualified top of their Champions League group for the first time and will face holders Real Madrid in the Round of 16.

“I can’t wait, after 30 years it’ll be the game of games. I’m interested to see how David stands up to Goliath. The important thing is that my players prove their character at the Bernabeu against a side that exudes authority both on and off the pitch.

“The key in Madrid will be how we hold out psychologically, then the second leg will have a Stadio San Paolo packed to the rafters that can act as our 12th man.

“I expect for the Real game we’ll welcome back fans who come to the stadium once every 30 years… I will never sell Napoli, at least until I am tired of the world of football.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports.