Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has accused the club’s former coach Maurizio Sarri, who is now at Chelsea, of being overly interested in making money from his career in football.
“I thought I had met a coach who would stay at Napoli for a long time,” De Laurentiis said of Sarri in an interview with Corriere dello Sport, which has been translated by France24.
“At a certain point it became a question linked exclusively to money,” said the film producer.
“Suddenly, it was established by the media that his contract must be adjusted. So what is the value of an agreement just signed? We had already gone from 700,000 euros ($800,000) to 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million).
“I also once heard him say that for his next contract, he wanted to get rich.
“Sarri’s declarations of love for the city? I believed it, but then I wondered: ‘What if he was using me as a bank?'”
The 59-year-old has had an unusual career path for a top-grade coach, moving into the banking world after retiring as a professional player and taking up numerous posts across Europe, including in the city in which he now lives.
A coaching career in the Tuscan lower divisions came next, and a late move up the leagues came later in the day in managerial terms.
Whether or not the questions over Sarri’s motivations for working in football can be taken on face value from De Laurentiis is open for debate; the pair had a bitter falling out over the former’s move to Chelsea this summer and the attached legal wranglings, and the chairman has launched a series of barbs at him since.