The flamboyant Partenopei supremo feels that the much-coveted striker should ignore the temptation to accept a big-money offer from elsewhere and stay at the San PaoloNapoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has claimed that Ezequiel Lavezzi is “Neopolitan born and bred” and warned the Argentine against the perils of a move away from his adopted home.
The winger was one of the stars of the Partenopei’s stirring debut in this season’s Champions League and his fine form is rumoured to have attracted the interest of Europe’s elite, with Inter, Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain all said to be considering summer bids for the player.
However, De Laurentiis believes that Lavezzi would be well advised to resist the lucrative contracts on offer elsewhere and remain in Naples, where is loved and adored.
“Although nobody knows this, he is a Neapolitan born and bred; the virus has entered his blood,” the Napoli owner is quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. “If he goes or doesn’t go elsewhere, he will remain a Neapolitan.
“If he plays elsewhere, they will not recognise many of his characteristics that are viewed positively here.
“If he chooses to go, it could be worse for him. Seriously, I just want Ezequiel to do well. He has given me some terrific days in Serie A.”
De Laurentiis went on to pay tribute to Napoli for the way in which they recovered from their devastating European exit at the hands of Chelsea by propelling themselves back up the Serie A standings and into contention for an immediate return to Champions League football next season.
“In my opinion, we have great players and I am very satisfied with them,” he enthused. “I want to thank them for their professionalism.
“After the disappointment in London I did have to intervene, because I didn’t want to see sad faces - I understand their state of mind, they are young.
“However, they must be content to stay with us - the club is strong, wages are paid regularly - I’m still paying players who are no longer with us even.”