Spalletti: ‘I hope Insigne and Koulibaly stay at Napoli’

Luciano Spalletti hopes Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly will stay at Napoli, outlining what he wants from his midfielders and forwards.

The new coach sat down for a press conference after today’s training session at the Dimaro camp.

“We need the passion of the fans and we need to deserve that from them, so when the players leave the field, they salute the supporters,” said Spalletti.

He discussed the possible tactical shape that the Partenopei will have this season.

“In my mind is a Napoli side that can surprise the opponents. A 4-2-3-1 gives us balance in both phases, while 4-3-3 is similar, it’s just a slight shift.

“We need to do more on the ball. For example, Italy and in general the best European clubs now cover the full width of the pitch when attacking. We mustn’t sit back on the defensive.

“When the team goes on the attack, the midfielders must follow them and press, so I ask the midfielders to put in a lot of kilometres, to be where they are needed.”

Insigne was one of the stars of Italy’s UEFA EURO 2020 triumph, but his contract with Napoli is due to expire in June 2022.

“I spoke to Insigne once on the phone. He seemed to be the same captain that I pictured when watching him. As for the contract, you in the media are trying to cause problems. We have the captain of Napoli, we know who he is, and the President of Napoli is a businessman.

“These are two strong personalities who at the right time will look each other in the eye and get down to it. Let’s wait for Lorenzo to return, the President will talk to him and everything will be clearer after that.”

There are also question marks over the future of defender Koulibaly, who has been linked with Everton.

“Koulibaly is one of the vice-captains in this squad. As far as I am concerned, he is staying at Napoli. It’s not easy to find a replacement for him, all his teammates appreciate him and I’ve realised he talks constantly on the pitch. Everyone respects his presence in the locker room.”

Spalletti was asked about his ambitions for Napoli and tried to calm some of the calls for a Champions League spot.

“It’s tough for anyone to get in the top four. I hope to be up there, but only time will tell. There are objectives and also some financial obligations we need to keep an eye on. If you want to resolve your financial problems, the quickest way is to qualify for the Champions League. The President knows that.”