Maurizio Sarri is preparing to take charge of his first game as the manager of Chelsea.
The Blues are currently touring in Australia, and they kick off their preparation for the new Premier League season against Perth Glory on Monday.
The Italian was finally appointed as Antonio Conte’s replacement earlier this month, ending a long saga which has lasted since the end of last season.
Sarri’s former club Napoli even appointed Carlo Ancelotti in his place before he had officially left the club, while Chelsea allowed Conte to take the first week of pre-season.
It’s all been a bit of a mess in truth, but with less than three weeks until the start of the campaign, normality is starting to return.
However, it does appear that there is still a bit of a bad taste in Napoli’s mouth about the whole situation.
Sarri revealed on Wednesday that he was “heartbroken about leaving the Naples club, and claimed that neither party had acted perfectly.
“I love the people there and I will always love them,” he started. “If we parted on bad terms with the club and the President then I think mistakes were made on both sides.
“Maybe the President misinterpreted some silences of mine, these were the uncertainties of someone who was torn, thinking it might be time to go.
“But I was heartbroken, and I hope in the coming years all of this can be overcome.”
And it doesn’t seem like Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis has taken those comments too kindly.
He’s slammed Sarri for what he said, claiming that he actually tried to “dismantle” his former side, as well as criticising his conduct while he was in charge.
“I didn’t like it when he said that we both made mistakes, I don’t think I made any, ” he told Sky Sport Italia, per Football Italia.
“I wasn’t wrong not to challenge him, even if it would’ve been most obvious thing.
“He had a contract, so I could’ve said something because he was acting in an unacceptable manner, going against players he didn’t think were very good.
“These players gave him a lot. He massacred them in his fantastic training sessions, but they always responded well.
“After that, he wanted to take my whole team to England and dismantle it. I had to lay down the law to Marina [Granovskaia, Chelsea director].
Strong words indeed from De Laurentiis.
Sarri clearly underestimated the anger on Napoli’s side about the deal, which in truth hasn’t been conducted brilliantly.
However, Chelsea fans won’t mind if he can fire them back to the Champions League this season.
Napoli’s board, on the other hand, might not be too happy to see him succeed.