Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has admitted he held several talks with Chelsea's manager Antonio Conte about taking over from Maurizio Sarri at the Stadio San Paolo.
According to reports from the Italian Journalist Tancredi Palmeri, the 69-year-old Film Producer and Club Chairman admitted he had conversations with Conte about joining Napoli, but talks broke down around potential transfers.
The Italian has had a tumultuous season at Stamford Bridge, and is widely acknowledged to be departing this summer, with Napoli's outgoing boss Maurizio Sarri ironically the club's primary target to replace him.
Napoli president: “I had several contacts with Conte. But when I told him we couldn’t sign the players he asked me, he kept on calling and calling to ask me the same”— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) May 29, 2018
However, after Conte's insistence over a number of personal transfer targets, De Laurentiis eventually opted for the former Bayern Munich and Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Chelsea fans will be all too aware of their current tactician's penchant for fresh faces, and the wrath he can produce when this desire is not fulfilled. In that sense, it was probably a smart move for the president to be realistic with him about their transfer aspirations.
Instead, 58-year-old Ancelotti has singed a three year contract with the Neapolitan side as the club's new Head Coach. Despite officially replacing Sarri, the 59 year old is technically still under contract with the Serie A side untile 2020, thus forcing Chelsea to shell out at least €4m to secure his services.
With Sarri poised to replace him, and Ancelotti already installed at Napoli, Conte's potential landing spots are dwindling by the day. While Milan seemingly still retain interest, the same transfer constraints are likely to arise considering their cloudy financial future.