Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis tried to hire Roberto De Zerbi from Brighton last summer and could return this summer.

That’s according to Area Napoli, who say De Laurentiis attempted ‘a good shot’ at Brighton to get the Italian after his superb first season in England.

They explain that the Napoli president had aimed for a big and ambitious hire last summer after the surprise departure of Luciano Spalletti following their success in Serie A.

Things have taken a downward turn since then after the failed appointment of Rudi Garcia, but he wasn’t the first choice.

Instead, De Laurentiis had turned his attention to Brighton, where De Zerbi had taken the Premier League by storm and led the Seagulls into Europe for the first time,

De Zerbi was flattered by the proposal but wanted to stay in England and coach there for longer, leaving Napoli disappointed and wondering what may have been.

They’re again in the hunt for a manger this summer, though, and Area Napoli suggest that De Laurentiis could be tempted to ‘try again in the future’ because De Zerbi ‘would seem more open’ to a return to Italy than he was a year ago.

Journalist Carlo Laudisa is having none of that, though, because Brighton have protected themselves too well.

For me, De Zerbi at Napoli is impossible for several reasons: for the clause that Brighton would not waive, then I don’t think he wants to leave the Premier League. There is the Premier League and then Barcelona,” he said.

In other words, De Laurentiis may try but the reality is he’ll fail again, unless he decides to do something uncharacteristic and break open the chequebook.