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Sarri learned of Napoli exit by watching TV

By Opta
Maurizio Sarri

London, September 7: Maurizio Sarri claims he only learned he was to be replaced as Napoli head coach when he saw successor Carlo Ancelotti arriving on TV.

The 59-year-old moved to Chelsea in July after his three-year spell at the San Paolo came to an end in May.

Weeks of speculation preceded his departure for Stamford Bridge as a reported legal wrangle with Napoli and president Aurelio De Laurentiis continued even after Ancelotti was confirmed as the club's new coach.

Sarri says he was not even aware Ancelotti was being appointed as his replacement until he saw footage of him arriving at the offices of Filmauro, De Laurentiis' media company.

"I was out for dinner with Pompilio, the assistant of Giuntoli," he told Il Mattino. "We turned on the TV and saw Ancelotti going into Filmauro.

"What did I think? I'll keep that to myself."

Sarri admits he had doubts about whether or not he wanted to stay at Napoli, but claims the decision was taken out of his hands.

When asked why they opted to change coach, he replied: "I still don't know. You have to ask the club. But now I've got Chelsea and I'm happy.

"There were reasons why I wanted to stay at Napoli and reasons why I had doubts.

"The contract that the president wanted included a release clause that expired on May 31, yet on May 21, they already signed a contract with Ancelotti."

However, Sarri still thanked De Laurentiis for "giving me the chance to coach the club that belongs in my heart" and wished Ancelotti luck for the season to come.

"Naples is an extraordinary city and they deserve to win the Scudetto," he said. "I, as a Napoli fan, am happy Carlo is now the coach because not only has he won wherever he has been, but he has always been liked by everybody.

"That means his human and professional qualities are extraordinary."

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    Story first published: Friday, September 7, 2018, 16:00 [IST]
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