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Napoli appoint Walter Mazzarri again to replace sacked Rudi Garcia

Napoli have appointed their former manager Walter Mazzarri as their new coach, the Serie A champions confirmed on Tuesday.

The 62-year-old takes over from Rudi Garcia after defeat by Empoli left last season’s champions on 21 points, 10 behind leaders Internazionale in the standings. Napoli have lost three of their opening 12 league games, the other defeats coming at home to Lazio and Fiorentina, and – having drawn another three – sit fourth, two points behind third-placed Milan and eight adrift of Juventus in second.

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The lacklustre start to the season hit a new low on Sunday when Napoli lost 1-0 at home to Empoli as Garcia’s tactics failed to produce a result against the team 17th in the standings.

Garcia took charge at Napoli in June after Luciano Spalletti resigned having won Napoli’s first Scudetto since 1990, but they are now at risk of falling away in this season’s title race. At the same stage last term Napoli were unbeaten in Serie A, leading with 10 wins and two draws.

Mazzarri returns to Napoli for a second spell after he managed the team from 2009-13. He ended his debut season, 2009-10, in sixth place before he helped Napoli qualify for the group stage of the Champions League the following campaign.

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Juventus have renewed the contract of Nicolò Fagioli until June 2028, the Serie A club said on Tuesday, after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) banned the midfielder for seven months for breaching rules on betting on matches. Fagioli’s previous deal, signed in August 2022, was valid until 2026.