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Napoli coach Mazzarri handed new two-year deal

Napoli have given coach Walter Mazzarri a two-year contract extension, after he led the club to a sixth place finish and guaranteed European football next season.

Mazzarri, 48, took the reins at the Partenopei in October after Roberto Donadoni was sacked following a disastrous start that saw the club pick up just seven points from their opening seven games.

And former Sampdoria coach Mazzarri has transformed the fortunes of the club, masterminding an ascent from 15th place in the league to sixth, with Napoli edging out Juventus for an automatic place in next season's Europa League.

A statement from club president Aurelio De Laurentis read: "We seek continuity with Mazzarri. The agreement with Mazzarri has been renewed until 2013.

"We have extended his previous contract for a further two years. We have looked long term in order to guarantee continuity in results. He will be our coach for the next three years.''

Mazzarri will now be tasked with holding onto key players like Fabio Quagliarella, Ezequiel Lavezzi and particularly star man Marek Hamsik, who finished as the club's leading scorer for the third successive season.

But while De Laurentis promised their would be room for new arrivals to help Napoli compete at home and abroad, he insisted that the league remains the club's top priority.

"Our aim is that Napoli continues to grow in Italy and on the international scene," De Laurentis said. "With a few reinforcements this summer we can be competitive.

"I'm not interested on having a starring role in Europe and then finishing 10th in Serie A and I believe that is also Mazzarri's opinion. The Europa League should serve as an added experience for our players to grow.''

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