That was the seventh defeat of the season for Napoli and the second in their last three games. The team, with one game in hand, now sit in sixth place, three points from fourth-placed Roma and Lazio in fifth.
As reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, it’s almost certain that Gattuso won’t be Napoli coach next season and there is a chance that he could be fired immediately if he doesn’t win the next two games.
Napoli will play on Wednesday against Atalanta in Bergamo in the second leg of Coppa Italia’s semifinals, coming from a 0-0 draw in the first leg, and then on Saturday home against Juventus. President Aurelio De Laurentiis has decided to wait for the outcome from those two games before making a decision.
Former coach Rafa Benitez is considered the number one option to replace Gattuso in case of dismissal. Contact has already been made but the Spaniard is not sold on taking over the team in this point of the season.
Benitez would prefer to get the job next summer, at the beginning of pre-season.
At the same time, De Laurentiis is evaluating other options in case Napoli miss out on a Champions League spot for the second straight year and, as a consequence, have less money to spend.
In that case, it’s possible that the president will start a new project with a young coach. The candidates are Hellas Verona’s Ivan Juric, Sassuolo’s Roberto De Zerbi, and Spezia’s Vincenzo Italiano.