Antonio Conte turned down the opportunity to succeed Rudi Garcia as Napoli manager.
Garcia faced a particularly difficult challenge in Naples following the summer departure of Serie A champion Luciano Spalletti.
The 59-year-old left Saudi Arabia after less than a year to take over as manager of the Italian champions on a two-year contract, but his team has fooled to deceive in the early stages of the season.
Garcia has led Napoli to just five wins in their first ten games this season, with four wins, two draws, and two loses in eight Serie A matches, leaving the Partenopei fifth in the table and seven points behind leaders AC Milan.
Napoli defeated Braga in their first Champions League match before falling to Real Madrid 3-2 at home on matchday two, and Garcia’s problems extend beyond his team’s performance on the field.
Garcia famously exchanged words with star striker Victor Osimhen when the former subbed off the Nigerian during his sixth game in charge against Bologna, although Garcia soon played down the incident.
Nonetheless, Partenopei president Aurelio de Laurentiis is thought to be preparing plans for life after Garcia, who is unlikely to resign willingly, implying that either a mutual contract termination or firing is probable.
At the moment, Garcia remains in charge, but according to Fabrizio Romano, Napoli met with Conte on Wednesday to evaluate the Italian’s interest in replacing the Frenchman.
However, Romano maintains that such negotiations were “not positive” and that no agreement was reached between De Laurentiis and Conte, who is not eager to return to management.
The 54-year-old has been unemployed since his acrimonious departure from Tottenham Hotspur in March, when he unleashed a stinging attack on his squad after they threw away a 3-1 lead in a 3-3 draw with Southampton.
Antonio Conte is unlikely to take the position of manager at Napoli
Conte has yet to discover an opportunity that entices him, and he appeared to officially rule out a move to Napoli on his Instagram account, when he emphasized his desire to continue spending time with his family after their extended period away while he coached Tottenham.
“There are persistent transfer rumours that link me to important clubs, but I reiterate that for now there is only the desire to continue to sit still and enjoy the family,” Conte wrote in a statement.
Garcia’s position may be secure for the time being due to Conte’s refusal. However, De Laurentiis is likely to look for other options as the winter season approaches.
Former Chelsea manager, Graham Potter is also another candidate for the role. It’s unknown if the Englishman is drive to rejoin the managing ranks so quickly after passing down the chance to lead Lyon, a dominant force in France.
Napoli’s next match is against Hellas Verona on October 21, followed by a Champions League match against Union Berlin three days later.