Football: Carlo Ancelotti replaces Maurizio Sarri with promise to end Napoli's 28-year title wait

Carlo Ancelotti, sacked by Bayern Munich last September, steps in after Maurizio Sarri was pushed out of the San Paolo Stadium after finishing second in Serie A behind Juventus. PHOTO: AFP

MILAN (AFP) - Carlo Ancelotti promised to end Napoli's 28-year wait for a Serie A title after it was confirmed on Wednesday (May 23) he would take over from Maurizio Sarri as coach of the Italian club on a three-year deal.

Ancelotti, sacked by Bayern Munich last September, steps in after Sarri was pushed out of the San Paolo Stadium after finishing second in Serie A behind Juventus.

Napoli have not won Serie A since the days of Argentina legend Diego Maradona who led them to to their only two titles in 1987 and 1990.

"I'm very happy to return to my country and to one of the greatest teams in Italy," Ancelotti said in a statement on his personal website.

"(The) aim is to conquer the Scudetto after 28 years. We are thrilled by this challenge and ready to open a new chapter in football."

It will be Ancelotti's first job in Italian football since leaving AC Milan in 2009 after leading the club to a Scudetto and two Champions League titles.

His son Davide and his son-in-law Mino Fulco will also be on the Napoli coaching staff.

Ancelotti hammered out a deal throughout Wednesday with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis who later confirmed Sarri's departure on Twitter.

"I'd like to thank Maurizio Sarri for his valuable contribution to the Napoli cause," De Laurentiis said.

"He brought joy and prestige to Naples and Napoli fans all over the world with an entertaining brand of football that drew praise from all quarters. Well done, Maurizio - Aurelio De Laurentiis."

Italian film producer De Laurentiis then announced Ancelotti's arrival with a staged photo of the pair standing back to back holding imaginary guns ready for a shootoff.

"I'm really happy and honoured to be the coach of a team from such a unique city with such incredible fans. Forza Napoli always," Ancelotti then said in a message posted in four different languages - Italian, English, French and Spanish.

Ancelotti said that he had chosen Napoli despite offers from all over Europe and Asia as well as the Italy national coaching job.

His aim was "to return Napoli to the highest position of the Serie A and Champions League".

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich boss is reported to have agreed a deal worth €6.5 million (S$10.2 million) per year.

Ancelotti has won three Champions League titles as well as the league in Italy, France, Germany and England. He will be officially presented at his new club on July 9.

Meanwhile, Sarri has been linked to both Chelsea and Zenit Saint Petersburg.

The 59-year-old has spent the past three seasons in Napoli with his contract expiring in 2020.

Despite achieving a record 91 points it was not enough as Juventus won their seventh straight league title and a fourth Italian Cup in a row.

The southerners also exited in the group stage of the Champions League.

According to Sky Sports Italia, Zenit have invited the 59-year-old former banker to Russia to see Saint Petersburg and their training facilities.

The Russian club have been without a coach since Roberto Mancini returned to take over the Italian national team.

Zenit are prepared to pay Sarri's €8 million release clause, in addition to a salary worth €6 million per season plus bonuses.

Sarri, who has never won a trophy with any team during his 13-year coaching career which has been exclusively in Italy, has also been linked with Chelsea.

Fellow Italian Antonio Conte is reported to be on the way out of Stamford Bridge despite winning the FA Cup, after finishing fifth in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri took to Twitter to congratulate Ancelotti.

"Welcome back to Italy Ancelotti! Serie A rediscovers an excellence of our football."

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