With Luciano Spalletti hinting he’ll leave Napoli, the Scudetto winners need a new coach and options suggested include Julian Nagelsmann, Gian Piero Gasperini, Rafa Benitez, Vincenzo Italiano, Antonio Conte and Roberto De Zerbi.
Although it has not been officially announced yet, the comments from both Spalletti and President Aurelio De Laurentiis over the last few days make it fairly clear the tactician will walk away at the end of the season.
Now De Laurentiis must find a replacement and he has several different avenues he could go down, including a stroll down memory lane to bring Benitez back to the Stadio Maradona, or the Stadio San Paolo as it was known when the Spaniard was here in 2013-15.
Benitez is one of the few coaches who left still having a good rapport with the President, who has been known to be over-bearing and hog the credit for success.
La Gazzetta dello Sport suggest Gasperini would be a good move if he decides to leave Atalanta, but that seems improbable considering his long-standing role in Bergamo.
De Zerbi may well be one of the ideal picks, but he is on the verge of qualifying Brighton and Hove Albion for Europe and has repeatedly said he won’t leave the Premier League after just one season.
The same goes for Italiano, who has taken Fiorentina to the Conference League and Coppa Italia Finals this term.
There are also the more prestigious candidates currently out of work, such as former Juventus, Chelsea, Italy, Inter and Tottenham coach Conte, although De Laurentiis may well baulk at the €12m per season salary.
An intriguing name mentioned in the Italian media is Nagelsmann, who was fired by Bayern Munich in March, a decision the Bundesliga giants are starting to bitterly regret.
Only 35 years old, Nagelsmann had experiences at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig before joining Bayern Munich in 2021, but is known for his strong personality, which might not sit too well with a hands-on patron like De Laurentiis.