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Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed he is prepared to let Luciano Spalletti step away from coaching at the end of this season.

The Italian champions exercised an option to roll Spalletti’s contract on for another year last month but the 64-year-old coach wishes to take some time out.

Napoli have tried to persuade him to stay and build on the team’s first Scudetto since 1990, however, Spalletti’s mind is made up. He wants to go back to his farm in Tuscany and spend more time with his family.

Appearing on RAI’s Che Tempo Che Fa programme, De Laurentiis said: “When someone comes to you and says that even though they have a year left on their contract, they’d prefer to go on sabbatical, what do you do? Do you stand in their way?

“In life, you should always be generous. You need to give without expecting anything from anyone. Luciano has given (to Naples) and so he’s a free man. It’s right to let him go.”

As Spalletti is technically under contract for another year, he will not be allowed to coach anybody else in the meantime. The one-year extension essentially acts as non-compete.

Spalletti has taken time out before, serving the outstanding years on his contract after Zenit Saint Petersburg and Inter sacked him.

(Photo: Getty Images)



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