Napoli in talks with Luis Enrique but believe he prefers Premier League job

<span>Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Napoli are in talks with Luis Enrique about becoming their manager but the president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has indicated that the former Spain and Barcelona coach would prefer a Premier League job.

Napoli are seeking a replacement for Luciano Spalletti, who is standing down after winning Serie A. Luis Enrique is one their leading candidates but Napoli are aware he features on the shortlists of other clubs, including Tottenham.

De Laurentiis told the broadcaster Rai: “He is a great coach , he has done very well at Barcelona,​​ but I think he has the Premier League in mind. It must be remembered that we compete with many leagues that are more attractive than ours, like the English one.” He referred to “more attractive resources” in England.

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Luis Enrique has been out of work since he stepped down from the Spain job after their 2022 World Cup last-16 defeat by Morocco. His most recent stint as a club manager was from 2014-17 with Barcelona, where his trophies included two La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey wins and a Champions League. He has also coached Roma, Celta Vigo and Barcelona B.

Tottenham’s search for a permanent replacement for Antonio Conte continues, with one of the principal names on their list, Arne Slot, having committed his future to Feyenoord. Luis Enrique and the Celtic manager, Ange Postecoglou, are prominent in their thoughts. Spurs’ first priority is to appoint a director of football.

Spalletti has said he intends to take a sabbatical year after leading Napoli to their first title since 1990. On Monday De Laurentiis thanked the 64-year-old for his work and described him as “a free man”. Spalletti is due to take charge of Napoli on Sunday for the final time in the home game against Sampdoria, the last match of the season.

The new Chelsea head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, has opted against a permanent move for João Félix, according to the Atlético Madrid president, Enrique Cerezo. The Portuguese forward had not been expected to extend his stay in London after scoring four goals during a six-month loan spell.

“We have been informed that Pochettino does not [want] João Félix for Chelsea,” Cerezo told a press conference on Tuesday. “He will return here, we’ll see … we have nothing planned.”