Napoli are facing the prospect of losing Victor Osimhen and may have made matters worse by their appointment of Rudi Garcia as manager following the exit of Luciano Spaletti from the club.
News broke soon after they lifted the Scudetto at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium at the conclusion of the Italian Serie A season that Spaletti would leave the club. Nigeria football news media postulated that Osimhen, who is the subject of various transfer news and rumours, would follow him. With Garcia as their new manager, the 24-year-old Super Eagles striker may truly have played his last for Napoli.
✍️ Rudi Garcia has been named as Napoli's new coach!
Welcome, Rudi! 👋 pic.twitter.com/ji4qeHFyfB
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) June 15, 2023
Napoli make U-turn after Christophe Galtier talks; appoint Rudi Garcia to take over from Spaletti
The Partenopei were shocked that the club president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Spaletti fell out after an incredible season that saw them challenge for the treble. They would be consoled with the Scudetto after 33 years thanks to the starting performances of Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen.
The 24-year-old also ended up as the Capocannoniere, the highest-goal scorer of the season. He was also awarded with the striker of the year award, narrowly missing out on the player of the year award which went to his teammate Kvicha Kvaratskhelia instead.
Spaletti was set to continue as the team's manager but he halted talks over his contract renewal. His reasons were revealed to be De Laurentiis greenlighting the contract extension talks without consulting him. Both parties clashed over the issue and De Laurentiis decided against renewing Spaletti's contract altogether.
The club have now appointed Garcia, who left his role as manager of Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr after the 2022/23 Saudi Pro League season to return to European football. This move comes after they were reported to be progressing in talks with Christophe Galtier, who managed Osimhen at LOSC Lille and is expected to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the coming weeks.
🚨 Napoli are ready to offer a 3-year contract to Christophe Galtier, worth €12m.
The Italian club are waiting for his departure from PSG to be made official.
(Source: Gazzetta dello Sport) pic.twitter.com/FpsSKBj5C4
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) June 15, 2023
Garcia beats Galtier, Enrique to Napoli job
Rudi Garcia has had a topsy-turvy managerial career, most of it spent in his home country of France. He is a league winner who has been described as one of the best French coaches in recent times, but his time at the clubs he has managed is mostly remembered for controversy with players and the owners of said clubs.
He was manager of Ligue 1 side Olympique de Marseille while Osimhen played in LOSC Lille and he knows the AFCON 2023 golden boot hopeful well enough. However, the exit of Spaletti and the club's decision to not go for Galtier, who was believed to be topping the list of replacement managers until late Thursday when Garcia's appointment was announced, could affect Osimhen's decision to remain in Naples.
Galtier's failures in the UEFA Champions League is reportedly the reason he is set to leave the French champions. He was on the list to replace Spaletti alongside former Spain national team boss Luis Enrique and former Napoli boss Rafa Benitez. De Laurentiis took to Twitter to celebrate the appointment of the former Al Nassr manager while the club's official handle did the same.
Ho il piacere di annunciare che, dopo averlo conosciuto e frequentato durante gli ultimi 10 giorni, il signor Rudi Garcia sarà il nuovo allenatore del Napoli. A lui il più sincero benvenuto e un grande in bocca al lupo!
— AurelioDeLaurentiis (@ADeLaurentiis) June 15, 2023
His first task, however, will be convincing Osimhen in the wake of several Premier League clubs looking to sign him. Rudi Garcia joins Napoli with immediate effect.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago