Napoli's managerial search is starting to get a little desperate. Jurgen Klopp is taking a sabbatical. Unai Emery is staying in Sevilla. Former favorite Sinisa Mihajlovic seems headed for AC Milan. One time Napoli link Vincenzo Montella seems likely to stay at Fiorentina. Who's left for them to get that's any good?
There might be one option who stands above the rest. Luciano Spalletti is available, having taken a year off after being relieved of his duties at Zenit St. Petersburg -- a year off with pay, mind, which isn't half bad -- and is eager to return to Italy to get back to his coaching roots.
Spalletti has won two Coppa Italias in Italy, both during his time at Roma that saw him win so much acclaim, as well as a Russian Cup and two Russian Premier League titles during his time at Zenit. He's accomplished, both domestically and with some success in European competition, and is very highly regarded, thanks in no small part to an entertaining-but-responsible tactical preference.
The 56 year old would seem to be an ideal candidate for Napoli: proven, successful, available, and hey, he's even Italian! Sure, Spalletti is more from the north than the south, but we won't hold that against him. So why hasn't Napoli approached him yet? Why isn't he being more directly linked to the club? Well, that's Roma's fault.
You see, thanks to his connection to the capital club, most everyone is assuming that Roma will immediately turn to Spalletti should they part ways with Rudi Garcia, which they are believed to be considering. He's still much-loved by much of Rome, and would be a natural choice there should they take the measure of parting ways with Garcia, who would likely then return to France.
That means that Napoli only have a very small window in which to work if they want to hire Spalletti. If they do, they have to move now, or else the man who looks like the best viable candidate on the market will be gone. The pickings left after him are fairly slim, and Napoli need a strong manager to move on with their summer and near future with. Is he a better candidate than Klopp or Emery? No, probably not. But they're officially "misses" for Napoli, so they must move on with what's at hand, and among what's at hand, there might not be a better candidate than Spalletti.