MILAN (Reuters) - Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri played down reports of a rift with flamboyant club president Aurelio De Laurentiis on Sunday although he gave little away about his future after seeing his team’s Serie A title challenge fizzle out.
De Laurentiis gave a number of interviews over the weekend in which he criticised Sarri’s lack of squad rotation, saying that some players had declined to move to Napoli because they feared not getting a game.
The reports added to speculation that Sarri could cut short his contract, which runs until June 2020, and leave at the end of this season, his third at the club.
Napoli have finished second and third in their two previous seasons under Sarri and this season’s bid for the title effectively ended on Sunday with a 2-2 draw at home to Torino.
Juventus are six points clear with two games left and a goal difference which is better by 16.
“I don’t have to reply to anyone,” Sarri told reporters. “The president is the person who gave me the chance to coach Napoli, the team I have always supported, and he’s allowed me to live an extraordinary adventure, so he can say what he wants.
“I’m disappointed if he’s not happy but my conscience is clear. I have done everything I can for us to obtain as many points as possible in the competition closest to the hearts of the Neapolitan people.”
Sarri said he did not take comments by De Laurentiis personally.
“I know that if I stay here, the president will continue to make these statements,” he said.
“This is a fantastic place to work and no player or coach can want more; 50,000 people have encouraged us for the whole match, even though this was the week when we lost hope of winning the title.”
Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern, editing by Pritha Sarkar