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Sarri announcement delayed by Vincenzo Montella interest?

With Vincenzo Montella on the outs at Fiorentina, could he hijack Maurizio Sarri's deal with Napoli?

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One of the names tied to Napoli's managerial search early in the process was Vincenzo Montella, who over the last three years guided Fiorentina to good results, better than you could reasonably expect for a team that didn't have the greatest talent or financial ability to back Montella as much as he would have liked.

Those rumors quickly disappeared, though, even if no one was quite sure why at the time. Now, in the wake of Montella being relieved of his managerial duties by Fiorentina, we know why: Montella had a €5 million release clause in his contract that meant that any club who wanted him would have to pay a hefty sum to do it, which scared away Napoli and other teams, apparently including Milan.

That clause created friction between Montella and Fiorentina, eventually leading to the viola relieving him of his managerial duties on Monday. In the wake of that, Maurizio Sarri was, by rumor at least, supposed to be announced as Napoli's manager on Tuesday -- but that announcement never came.

Now comes word that, after meeting with Sarri in Rome, Aurelio De Laurentiis apparently got in touch with Vincenzo Montella to sound out his interest in potentially managing Napoli. That would be a huge shift from Napoli in the midst of everything else going on if it came to pass.

Now bear in mind -- this is only a rumor and has no apparent backing source at this time. But it's plausible for a lot of reasons, not least because it's long seemed like De Laurentiis is a fan of Montella's and he's prone to fits of changing his mind in major ways.

The report indicated that Montella said no, at least for now, wanting to take his time and figure things out after his dismissal from Fiorentina. Hiring Montella wouldn't be as straightforward as that anyways, as he's still technically under contract at Fiorentina for the next two years, meaning that the release clause is still in play. If Montella can work his way out of that deal through some kind of settlement -- let's face it, Fiorentina won't want to pay him to do nothing for two years -- then he'll be free to move, but until then the same complications that kept him from Napoli in the first place are there.

That means Sarri is still probably Napoli's man to lead the team this season -- but that's not nearly as cut-and-dry a situation as it was a day ago.