After a week of being the club's presumptive new manager, it's finally official: Napoli have hired Maurizio Sarri as their next manager.
The former Empoli manager is believed to have agreed to a one-year contract with a club-held option for a second in the last week, though an announcement was delayed by apparent finagling over non-contract details, presumably over things like transfer budgets and players to focus on for the summer mercato -- though a rumored flirtation with Vincenzo Montella may have delayed things a bit as well.
Now, though, everything is done and dusted, with the club making the announcement via Twitter:
La #SSCNapoli comunica che l'incarico di allenatore della prima squadra per la prossima stagione 2015/2016 sarà affidato a Maurizio #Sarri— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) June 11, 2015
Sarri, who turned 56 in January, was born in Naples, giving the club a local son to lead the team again, something which should prove popular with the fanbase. He's an intriguing candidate, as despite his lack of top-flight experience -- this past season with Empoli is the only season he's managed in Serie A -- he's widely considered a quality manager worthy of a shot with a bigger club. Now he's got that shot, and it's time to see what he'll do with it.
Replacing Rafa Benitez will be no easy task for Sarri, even if Rafa failed to live up to expectations with Napoli, and he'll need to get the club off to a strong start. The short-term nature of his deal means that he might not have a long leash, so any early failures could see a quick trigger for the often-volatile Aurelio De Laurentiis to make a change. Hopefully, for the sake of both Sarri and Napoli, the patience of the club's president is never tested.