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 By PA Sport

Napoli president thanks coach Maurizio Sarri as exit looms

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has thanked head coach Maurizio Sarri for his achievements as head coach as the Serie A club reportedly look to appoint Carlo Ancelotti as his successor.

In his third season in charge Sarri, 59, led Napoli to a second-placed finish in the league, with a 91-point haul not enough to beat Juventus to the Scudetto.

It was a third campaign of improvement from the Azzurri under his management. Napoli were runners-up in 2015-16 and, although they placed third a year later, they reached the last 16 of the Champions League this campaign.

On Wednesday, De Laurentiis tweeted: "I thank Maurizio Sarri for his dedication to Napoli which has brought great prestige and emotion to the city by creating a style of football which is admired everywhere and by everyone. Well done Maurizio.''

Despite Napoli's lofty finish, De Laurentiis has aired his frustration with Sarri -- linked with Chelsea despite fellow Italian Antonio Conte remaining in charge there -- over stalled contract talks.

Following Sunday's 2-1 home win over Crotone, Sarri said: "Everything in life ends and it is better to finish things after writing a beautiful story.''

Further reports in Italy claim Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg are also keen to recruit Sarri amid the speculation he has been lined up as a potential successor to Conte at Stamford Bridge.

Former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss Ancelotti has been out of work since leaving Bayern Munich last September and reports in Italy say the 58-year-old could take over at Stadio San Paolo imminently.

Napoli are yet to officially confirm Sarri's departure from Naples.

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