Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri terminated his association with the Italian club last week and the club’s president has revealed that Villas-Boas is one of their candidates to replace him.
“Yes,” he replied when questioned if an approach had been made.
“There is a very tempting argument to hire a young coach here.”
Less than a year ago the 35-year-old coach had been hired by Chelsea and hailed as the next Jose Mourinho, under whom he learned his trade at Inter Milan.
However, after a short-lived and turbulent spell with the Blues he was fired and his assistant Roberto Di Matteo took charge of the team to win the Champions League and FA Cup in 2011/12.
Back then, Villas-Boas would have likely been tempted by the prospect of taking the reigns at Napoli but he’s only just started to implement his ideas, style, system and philosophy at Tottenham where he’s been given time and faith to deliver over the long-term.
Had Spurs have made it into the Champions League this term, ahead of North London rivals Arsenal who will go through to the qualifying rounds via their one-point advantage over Spurs, the decision would likely have been a no-brainer: stay at Tottenham.
But Napoli will play in the Champions League next season after finishing second in Serie A behind champions Juventus and, despite the likelihood that they’ll lose the Italian top scorer Edinson Cavani, whoever takes charge at the Stadio San Paolo will have around £50 million to play with in the transfer market from the sale.
They also have a number of up and coming prospects – the likes of Christian Maggio and Lorenzo Insigne are future stars, alongside already established names likes Marek Hamsik who is highly-rated as one of the best midfielders on the continent.
Spurs have, of course, Gareth Bale, and Villas-Boas will be looking to strengthen this summer by bringing in another top quality striker – the likes of Sandro, Aaron Lennon and Jermaine Defoe are quality players and the new additions of Jan Vertonghen, Gkyfi Sigurdsson, Moussa Dembele, Hugo Lloris and Lewis Holtby will get better after adapting to the Premier League this term.
Villas-Boas has started the job at Tottenham – in the grand scheme of things, he failed his main objective which was to secure access to Champions League football next term – but all is not lost and he has a bright future with the club where he is well regarded and respected amongst the fans, the board, and the players.
Moving to Napoli where he’s guaranteed a Champions League campaign and £50 million to spend on signings is a temptation, but he should continue with Tottenham and see through the job he’s started.
Spurs have and will continue to back him – they’ve been patient this term and they want to see where this project goes over the long-term. He should want the same. He’s signed a contract to keep him at White Hart Lane until 2015 and he should honour that commitment.
images © Vladimir Maiorov