According to reports in Italy, Sinisa Mihajlovic is being lined up to succeed Rafael Benitez as head coach of Napoli from next season.
Benitez has been in charge of Il Partenopei since last summer, and last term led them to Coppa Italia glory, as well as a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League and a third-place Serie A finish. The latter gave them a playoff spot in the UEFA Champions League, but they failed to make the group stage after Athletic Bilbao beat them on aggregate.
They have made an inauspicious start to their league campaign this time round, and currently sit in sixth position having collected 10 points from their opening six matches. The Spanish coach is out of contract at the end of the season when his two-year deal expires, and it has been claimed in Italy that he will not be handed a fresh agreement.
Instead, Cronache di Napoli claim the club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis has already contacted Mihajlovic to sound him out about succeeding Benitez in time for the 2015-16 campaign. The 45-year-old is well versed to life in Italy, of course, having spent 12 years plying his trade as a player with Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Internazionale.
The former Yugoslavia international also had a spell as assistant at Inter, and has been head coach at Bologna, Catania, Fiorentina and the Serbian national side. He was appointed Sampdoria boss in November 2013 with the task of avoiding relegation to Serie B, and this is something he did with ease after leading them to a 12th place finish.
Mihajlovic looks as though he could fare even better this season, with La Samp currently third in the standings having gone unbeaten in their opening six rounds of fixtures. It is such promise which has, according to the report, led De Laurentiis to offer him €1.2million-per-year to join Napoli, although it is understood his current club are furious by the approach.
Would Mihajlovic be a good option for Napoli, and what does the future hold for Benitez? Have your say by joining in the discussion below.