READ ALSO Napoli-De Laurentiis face to face: all in relationship, talk with Mertens
De Laurentiis arrives at the headquarters of Castel Volturno when one minute is left at 13. He is alone in the Van because the only manager who accompanied him, Alessandro Formisano, has arrived on his own for an hour before. The team, after completing the training, is gathered in one of the sports center rooms. De Laurentiis immediately showed himself in a good mood, using very quiet tones. He dwells on the evening with Liverpool, complimenting a performance that he considers extraordinary. But for him, it should be normality for Napoli. An intervention in which he then explained his position on the mutiny and the slap of the refusal to leave for the withdrawal in the night after the competition with the Salzburg. According to the patron, the team should have obeyed even though reluctantly, even though they did not agree with the decision and then, tomorrow, ask for an interview with him. Which, he explains, would probably have satisfied them and made them return home. But no, this is not acceptable behavior. It is impossible, he says, to pass over such a riot: the image of the company he has been running for years has suffered an unjustifiable mortification from their revolt. And that is why he chose the hard hand line, with the request of maximum salary cut, up to 50 percent. It confirms fines but guarantees that it will not take other legal avenues, those of damages for image rights. He had thought of it, all the conditions were there. But it won't. Because he is convinced that from Bologna onwards it will be a nice Napoli even in the league. And he doesn't care about the result: he wants the performance, he wants to see the character and the determination, he wants the heart on the pitch. And he stresses again: with the Champions League knockout rounds and a nice streak of victories from here to Christmas, during the Arbitration (the hearings will not be held before mid-January), Naples's requests could be considerably lowered. Indeed, he says, even cancel the fines, reset them. But now the fines remain.
Mertens is the first to speak. It doesn't fit. He wants the president to cancel immediately the measures because he considers everything unfair. It is not a confrontation, it is a confrontation. And that's what De Laurentiis wanted. Who listens. Insignia, Koulibaly, Allan join the Belgian in the discussion: Mertens and the big ones propose, to bring the fines to 5 percent. But to do it immediately, at that precise moment, without postponements. In that case, he says, everyone is willing to pay without holding anything. But in this way, they make it clear, it is not a solution of their liking: I do not want amnesties tied to performance, results or anything else. The president De Laurentiis insists: he cannot cancel these measures now, it would not be right, but if the Napoli will be a real team, alive, compact and united as he was in Liverpool, he will give his lawyers a mandate to adopt a line of total conciliation . Without excluding the most sensational hypothesis: that of the cancellation of fines close to the Arbitration Chamber. After the meeting De Laurentiis stopped to talk for a few minutes with only one player: Mertens. Around 2.10 pm leaves Castel Volturno.
The climate is no longer of perennial inquisition. And this is not a trivial matter already. But it is clear that the concrete risk now is that players can take separate routes: there are, in fact, even those who might decide not to nominate the referee (there is time until 7 December) to avoid, in every case, an annoying legal dispute with his employer (who cites Ancelotti and Giuntoli as witnesses, in addition to the vice president Eduardo De Laurentiis). The reassurance that the Napoli is ready for the waiver of damages for image rights can be reassuring for some of the players of the rose. But it is clear that everything passes for the respective lawyers. The position of Callejon is striking at this stage: it is clear that the player behaves as if he were at the end of his Neapolitan adventure. Even yesterday he was almost on the sidelines. Yet the day of the revolt was among those on the front line. He has in his pocket a three-year deal with the Dalian of Hamsik and Benitez and save for the Chinese, in January-February there will be an encore of the operation that brought Marekiaro to China a year ago. © REPRODUCTION RESERVED