Sarri: Italian clubs ’embarrassed’ to play abroad

Napoli boss Mauricio Sarri has bemoaned the state of Italian clubs' infrastructure and admits that he would consider coaching in Spain or France.

The veteran manager, who enters his 27th year as a professional coach this season, says that the gap in quality between Serie A clubs and their European counterparts is so noticeable that he feels embarrassed for his players.

In conversation with Corriere della Sera, the recipient of the 2017 Enzo Bearzot Award for the best Italian coach, was clear about the frustrations of coaching in Serie A.

"I would like to," he said when asked if he would consider a managerial stint outside his native Italy. "If I had to choose now, Spain and France intrigue me," the 58-year old continued.

"We are a bit behind. Playing abroad is embarrassing in terms of the infrastructure. I cannot believe that here in Italy we don't have the money to improve what we work with," he continued.

"It is undeniable that our pitches are the worst. It's true that 98 per cent of players are annoyed at kicking off a match at 12.30 on Sunday."

On the topic of Pepe Reina's links with Newcastle United, Sarri expressed how important a player the goalkeeper is to both him and the players at the Naples club.

"When the rumours started circulating about him, many players called me up from their holiday time and asked for news," he said.

"That's when you realise how much of a reference point Pepe is for this group and also for me."

The former Liverpool stopper has been linked with a move to the newly-promoted Magpies since mid-June and there has been very little forthcoming from the player or his representatives on what his future holds for him.