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De Laurentiis expects Spalletti Napoli return

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis says he expects Luciano Spalletti to honour the final year of his contract – even though he is on sabbatical – amid interest from the Italy national team.

Spalletti is said to be first choice to succeed Roberto Mancini following his resignation, but De Laurentiis wants Spalletti to live up to his word; that he was “very tired” and wanted a year of rest, after leading Napoli to the Scudetto last season.

De Laurentiis insists the €3m-plus it would take to release him from his contract is unimportant next to “the question of principle”, with the unattached Antonio Conte ready to answer the call to return to the national setup instead, according to Sky in Italy.

The Italian Federation (FIGC), through its lawyers, have been trying to investigate whether the clause in Spalletti’s contract can be considered not applicable to the national team, since it is not in direct competition with the club.

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