For what has felt like much longer than it should have gone on, the tug-of-war between Cristiano Giuntoli and Aurelio De Laurentiis has both been a complete drag but also a completely understandable one considering who one half of the equation is.
De Laurentiis, never one to exactly make things easy on another club unless there’s a simple release clause to pay up for, has made things quite tough on Giuntoli when it comes to heading to his next job, with the sporting director job at Juventus very much waiting for him with open arms.
But, with Monday’s introduction of Rudi Garcia as Napoli’s new manager, there appears that we could finally be reaching the finish line when it comes to Giuntoli taking the job in Turin that has been waiting for him for weeks. I say that because there was very much one notable absence and one notable omission from all of the talking that De Laurentiis did when fielding questions at his new manager’s introductory press conference ...
That would be Giuntoli.
All of Napoli’s other front office members were there. But not the guy who put together the roster that just when Napoli’s first Scudetto in 33 years.
That has fueled speculation that there is a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to Giuntoli getting his new gig, one that has a long-term contract in place that he agreed to nearly two months ago. According to Sky Italia transfer oracle Gianluca Di Marzio on Monday night, there will be a meeting between Giuntoli and De Laurentiis that could be the thing that finally unlocks one of the best sporting directors in Italy to make the switch from southern Italy to northern Italy.
Finally. Finally a potential resolution.
The fact that it’s taken this long — again, nearly two months after initial reports came out that Giuntoli was the guy that Juve wanted as their next sporting director — doesn’t come as a surprise to many. Not only is it the simple fact that trying to negotiate an exit with De Laurentiis while having a year left on your contract isn’t easy, the bombastic Napoli owner has a history of not letting directors or managers leave for other jobs with any kind of ease.
As Italian transfer reporter Nicolo Schira points out, this is the same kind of move that De Laurentiis pulled when Chelsea were trying to sign Maurizio Sarri as its new manager. After weeks of haggling and plenty of words being thrown about as to whether a deal would actually happen, It was toward the end of June in the summer of 2018 when De Laurentiis finally let a deal go through.
And now that Napoli have hired a new manager to replace the guy who just won the team the Scudetto in Luciano Spalletti, there’s only one other thing left to do — allow Giuntoli to leave for Juventus and let him began this new phase of his career.
Considering just how much work has to be done this summer in terms of both arrivals and the departures, the sooner Giuntoli can get in and start working at Juventus can’t be emphasized enough. As much as Giovanni Manna — who has been running the show as Juve await Giuntoli’s arrival — has been handling things of late, getting Giuntoli working to get the Bianconeri started in what we hope is the start of a new era over the next handful of years is what this club needs most.
The light at at the end of the tunnel where Giuntoli departs Naples and heads through the doors at Continassa for the first time could very well be happen soon. The sooner the better when you’re on the other end of this kind of thing with somebody like De Laurentiis, right?