Tue, May 08, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Sarri’s future in doubt as Napoli hand Juventus title


SSC Napoli’s Marek Hamsik scores against Torino in their Serie A match at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Maurizio Sarri’s future as SSC Napoli coach was thrown into doubt after Sunday’s dramatic 2-2 draw against Torino shattered their bid for a first Serie A title since the days of Diego Maradona.

Juventus opened up a six-point lead with two games left to play and are all but assured of a seventh straight scudetto.

“I did everything I could to get as many points as possible in the competition that the Neapolitan people cared more about,” Sarri said.

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has blamed Sarri for the team again falling short of their objective of winning the title.

“I’m sorry if he’s not happy. My conscience is clear,” said Sarri, who has been touted as a successor to Antonio Conte at Chelsea and also been linked with a move to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. “I have nothing to answer back. He is the man who gave me the opportunity to coach the club that I’ve always supported. I know that if I stay here, the president will continue to make these statements.”

Sarri brushed aside reports that he was ready to resign.

“I cannot even comprehend that sort of talk,” he said. “The Neapolitans are wonderful and this was a game where we ran the risk of feeling sad. They sang and cheered at the end, so we can ask for nothing more. If the era is over, that’s down to the club. If the club cannot keep hold of six or seven of these players, then clearly an era is over.”

Asked about his command of the English language, Sarri added: “I studied it many years ago.”

Meanwhile, captain Marek Hamsik urged Sarri to remain at the club he has coached since 2015.

Hamsik came off the bench to score his 100th Serie A goal.

“I really hope Sarri stays, because he has helped improve both the team and everyone around Napoli. It’s fundamental that he remains, as he created a spectacular group and the fans know it too, which is why 50,000 come to every game.”

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