Sampdoria manager Marco Giampaolo is adamant that Napoli have not contacted him to discuss the possibility of recruiting him to replace Maurizio Sarri as manager.
Speaking after his side's 2-0 Serie A home defeat by I Ciucciarelli on Sunday night, and quoted on the Sampdoria website, Giampaolo insisted: "I haven’t been contacted by anyone. I watch Napoli purely as a spectator."
He also emphatically rejected the accusation that his side lacked motivation against the Neapolitan side: "We were motivated because the race for seventh place wasn’t over yet. We gave an honest performance," he said.
"Unfortunately, we came into this game seriously lacking personnel in attack," he added. "Zapata was just put down as a name in the squad, Quagliarella was ruled out."
Sampdoria top scorer Fabio Quagliarella was a particularly notable absentee, as his side appeared to miss his cutting edge against Napoli. Nevertheless, it was a spirited display by the Genoa-based side, who came close to scoring on more than one occasion.
Indeed, Giampaolo was keen to emphasise the positives not only of his side's 'honest performance' against Napoli, but of their season in general. "It’s been a positive campaign," he insisted, adding:
"Of course, there have been ups and downs, but the important thing is that there’s always been the ambition to get better from myself, the team and the club."
There was an unpleasant interlude in the second half, between Napoli's two goals, when the referee stopped the match because of offensive chants from the home supporters - an incident which prompted Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero to come down from the stand and remonstrate with his own fans.
Giampaolo emphatically dissociated himself from the behaviour of the fans responsible for the chants, while praising his president's actions:
"The president took on the responsibility himself, came down from the stand and went over to the Gradinata to stop these chants," said the manager, before adding: "The decision underlines the clear position of the club."