News ID: 262116
Published: 0244 GMT November 26, 2019

Ancelotti's future in spotlight as troubled Napoli visits Liverpool

Ancelotti's future in spotlight as troubled Napoli visits Liverpool

Napoli plays away to Liverpool today for a Champions League clash which could prove crucial to coach Carlo Ancelotti's future at the troubled Italian club.

The three-time Champions League winning coach's second season at the Stadio San Paolo has proved to be a complicated one, after leading his side to second in Serie A in his first year, AFP reported.

His team's fortunes have waned after the high of opening its Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win over reigning European champion Liverpool, with dressing room unrest amid friction between the players and club management.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis ordered the team to be confined to a week-long training camp earlier this month after a 2-1 league defeat to rival Roma saw it slip to seventh in Serie A.

But as Ancelotti voiced his disagreement with the lockdown, the players all returned home after a 1-1 draw against Salzburg three days later, which stalled their bid to reach the Champions League last 16.

"The relationship between the president and I is excellent and nothing changes," Ancelotti had insisted, after saying he disagreed with the 'ritiro' or training camp.

Film mogul De Laurentiis threatened to sell the entire squad and take legal action against the players after the dressing room revolt.

And the sanctions began to fall this week amid reports on Monday the players would receive hefty fines for breaking the lockdown.

Gazzetta Dello Sport reported that players' salaries for the month of November – apart from those out injured at the time – will be cut by a quarter.

Brazilian Allan, who had an argument with Edoardo De Laurentiis, son of the Napoli president, will see his salary slashed by half, or €200,000 ($220,000).

In total, players' salaries will be cut by €2.5 million ($2.7 million).


Media blackout


The club has also imposed a media silence with Ancelotti and the players refusing to speak after Saturday's 1-1 draw against AC Milan extended its winless run to six games in all competitions, and left it 15 points behind Serie A leader Juventus, out of the European places.

"We are not satisfied with the performance and the ranking, but it is also true that we deserved more points and more luck in various games," Ancelotti said earlier this month.

"The situation must be considered with a cool head."

Ex-Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, meanwhile, was seen in the stands at San Siro on Saturday, fueling speculation he could be waiting in the wings.

Napoli is still on course to qualify for the Champions League knockout rounds as it is second in Group E behind Liverpool, four points ahead of third-placed Salzburg with two games to play.

It will reach the last 16 if it beats Liverpool or if Salzburg does not beat Genk, having failed to advance past the group stages last season.

But it comes up against a Liverpool side which has an eight-point advantage on top of the Premier League table and whose only loss this season came at the San Paolo.






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