Former Empoli coach Sarri replaces Benitez as new Napoli boss

BY foxsports • June 12, 2015

NAPLES, Italy --

Former Empoli coach Maurizio Sarri has been named to replace Rafa Benitez at Napoli - a major career boost for someone who had never worked in the top flight until last season.

The southern club made the announcement Thursday.

Benitez chose not to renew his contract with Napoli after guiding the squad to a fifth-place finish in Serie A last month. The Spaniard moved to Real Madrid.

A loss to Lazio on the final day of the season ended Napoli's chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

The 56-year-old Sarri was born in Naples. After a long career in the lower divisions, he guided Empoli up from Serie B and to a 15th-place finish last season.

Sarri's first order of business will be to convince striker Gonzalo Higuain to stay.

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