Napoli have enjoyed a tremendous turnaround this season thanks in large part to the management of Maurizio Sarri, but thanks to an interview given by his agent, Napoli fans shouldn't assume that his leadership will continue on past this season.
Sarri's contract is only guaranteed for this season, with Napoli and Aurelio De Laurentiis holding multiple one-year options for further service. After a fairly cryptic interview given by his agent, however, it sounds like it's perhaps not a guarantee that Sarri will be staying on past this season.
Sarri isn’t waiting around for De Laurentiis to trigger the extension. By necessity Maurizio has referred this matter to me, but apart from that he doesn’t care about the contract at all.
The most Sarri does at the bank is taking out money to do his grocery shopping, so when people suggest Sarri might be thinking how many days there are until [his contract expires] I have to laugh.
The contract is a moment of reflection for a Coach, and you need time and the right mindset. We’ll talk about it when all the games have been played, and every effort will be made to get the result.
I can’t say Sarri will be at Napoli next season, the contract is not part of our priorities, it doesn’t interest us and we’re committed to doing more. I haven’t spoken with Sarri [about it] and nor am I going to, we’re focused on an objective that’s too important.
-Translated quote source: Football Italia
The emphasis added is ours, and are the major parts of the interview that might raise eyebrows. In a worst-case scenario, they could be taken to mean that Sarri isn't planning on being with Napoli next season and is just seeing out his time in this campaign, getting as high of a finish as possible to help him land a bigger job elsewhere.
Of course, given other things we've learned about Sarri this year, perhaps him being utterly unconcerned about his contract right now shouldn't be surprising. He's said in multiple interviews that all he wants to focus on is coaching his team, even going so far as to say that he "doesn't care" about the transfer market. So with that in mind, knowing that he really only cares about winning games and getting his grocery money shouldn't come as a shock.
With that in mind, the chances that this interview was just a negotiation ploy for leverage in contract talks are somewhere around 99%. But that 1% becomes frightening to consider when you look at possible replacement options, especially coming in a time of the season when we start to hear more about managers leaving their teams at the end of the season.
Hopefully the worst doesn't come to pass. An awful February aside, this has been a season to enjoy for Napoli, and fans are right to hope for more time with the team under Sarri's watchful eye. Especially in the middle of a hopeful scudetto chase, worrying about a contract dispute is just about the last thing this team needs.