It is hardly a surprise to say that Gennaro Gattuso has fallen out with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis. Gattuso, a footballing hardman renowned for his tough tackles, aggressive behaviour and even a famous scrap with Joe Jordan while the Leeds icon was on the coaching staff at Tottenham, is hardly a stranger to being in the midst of confrontation.
Combine him, then, as manager of a club that has a president in the form of De Laurentiis – the Italian version of Tottenham’s Daniel Levy, and it was always going to end in disaster. While Napoli sit in a decent fifth position in Serie A, Gattuso looks set to leave the club at the end of the season with the two parties failing to see eye to eye on a number of important matters.
Talk about his successor has been rife and now, without surprise, Marcelo Bielsa has been touted for the role. Just today, the Argentine gaffer has rubbished reports from his home country – namely, La Nacion – that he was on the verge of penning a two-year deal at Elland Road. Certainly, that is not how he works. But the way he does work, should relieve Leeds fans.
In the three years he has spent at Leeds, he has never signed a contract that lasted more than 12 months and when that contract has been up, he has penned another year. That remains the case this season, stating that he seems himself at Leeds on a long-term basis – but still remaining out of contract at the end of the season in technical and contractual terms.
But with that comes speculation and perhaps, somewhat under-informed pundits and journalists begin to think Bielsa might be available in the coming months. Speaking to Italian outlet Per Sempre Napoli, FIFA-licensed against Massimo Grillo thinks he would be perfect as the replacement of Gattuso at Champions League-chasing Napoli.
“I am a great admirer of Bielsa, currently on the Leeds bench he is a coach who has a very spectacular game system. I would see him really well on the blue bench, I am convinced that he would show captivating football.”