Premier League Newcastle United are reportedly interested in offering ex-Roma and Serie A coach Luciano Spalletti a chance at St James’ Park.
If Newcastle United are serious about handing Luciano Spalletti the keys to one of Europe’s most passionate footballing cities, then the Magpies will have no choice but to take the rough with the smooth.
For all the Italian’s tactical acumen, his proven track-record at the very top of the continental game, there is a firebrand personality which, let’s say, ‘rubs people up the wrong way’ more often than not.
And given that Francesco Totti is one of the most headstrong characters in the game, it was almost inevitable that his relationship with a former Roma boss would be one of the ‘love-hate’ variety.
The Giallorossi legend won three of his five career titles under Spalletti at the Stadio Olimpico. But if Totti was hoping for a Hollywood ending to his Roma story, ahead of his retirement in the summer of 2017, then the 61-year-old coach clearly hadn’t read the script.
Spalletti handed Totti just one Serie A start during the final season of his 25-year stint at the Italian giants. And even a growing chorus of jeers from the terraces was not enough to convince the manager to indulge his veteran talisman as his legendary career ground to a stuttering halt, Totti winding down his days stuck on the bench.
So no wonder the idea of sharing life in lockdown alongside Spalletti is enough to send a shiver down Totti’s spine.
“Close your eyes and imagine a quarantine with Spalletti? I reopen them immediately, what a nightmare!” Totti quipped during an Instagram Q&A.
Spalletti has a history when it comes to falling out with star players. His final few months at Inter Milan were dogged by speculation surrounding the future out the outcasted Mauro Icardi.
So with Calciomercato suggesting that Spalletti could soon be back in the game with Newcastle, it remains to be seen whether the veteran coach will bring results or strained relations.