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Transfer: Napoli president Laurentiis can’t guarantee Osimhen stay

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Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis can’t guarantee Victor Osimhen staying this summer.

While reluctant to lose the Nigeria striker, De Laurentiis admits he cannot afford to turn down any offer.

“I have said for a while that Osimhen has to stay. Then, if an offer came in that I could not refuse for the good of Napoli, then we would consider it, as is only natural,” said De Laurentiis.

“We already talked to Osimhen before the Scudetto celebration, so we already have a basic agreement on a two-year extension of his contract. The other players, that is something we need to study with Rudi (Garcia), because I have for many years been convinced that pre-season training is fundamental.

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“We refused to play the Gampert trophy with Barcelona, refused to play Manchester United, because we want to remain together and bring international teams to Castel di Sangro, so we avoid too much travelling.”

He however thanked former coach Luciano Spalletti at Rudi Garcia’s presentation.

De Laurentiis insists there’s no grudge towards Spalletti after his decision to leave.

He said, “Contracts are worth only so much, they are there for penalties, if needed. You have to look people in the eyes. If at a certain point I ask, do you want to be part of the glory of Napoli, or are you thinking about a different situation?

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“After winning the Scudetto, why was it good for me to choose Rudi? And why should I thank Spalletti for saying he wanted a Sabbatical? Because winning a Scudetto after 33 years, that can give you a sense of being sated. On the other hand, we can bring in a coach who knows how to play this violin and make it sound like a Stradivarius, who can tell the players not to rest on their laurels.

“Players are on the one hand employees, but on the other they are businesses in and of themselves. If you think your aim is to do well to then join one of the best four teams in the world, but how are you meant to do that if you don’t put in the daily effort and show respect for the club you are at? I always say, we work ultimately for the fans, who are our clients. It is our city.”

Napoli are said to have considered several candidates before turning to Garcia.

De Laurentiis also said: “I did not have a long casting process, I was just trying to put you in the media off. I spent three weeks organising the Scudetto celebrations, so that was a generous giving to the city, because the party we started with Napoli-Fiorentina did not feel sufficient.

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“I only really started thinking about the coach from June 5, thinking about who played successfully with the 4-3-3. Many had a 4-2-3-1, a 3-4-3, 4-4-2 or other systems. It was fundamental for me to continue the system that worked with the players at our disposal.

“Rudi twice reached second place with Roma, and in the first season he had a run of 10 consecutive victories, so I thought this man was right for us. At Lyon he came close to something important in the Champions League and that is important to increase the Napoli brand in the world.

“You know how much I care about that, not because I believe in a tournament that I dislike, just as much as I dislike the European Super League, the Europa League and the Conference League. UEFA need constant reaffirmation to get votes and win elections.

“I am an innovator, just as I was in changing the kit by making it ourselves, but it’s not so easy to change football, as we need to change the minds of so many people.”

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