Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has claimed that he will be “reasonable” with clubs who want Maurizio Sarri.
Carlo Ancelotti was appointed as his successor earlier in the month, with Sarri still under contract at Napoli until 2020.
His deal includes an €8 million (£7m) release clause, and reports have suggested that Chelsea are eyeing the Italian coach to replace Antonio Conte.
De Laurentiis told Corriere dello Sport: “If anyone comes to negotiate for him, I will be very reasonable.
“I am not a vindictive person and, I repeat, Sarri will always have my thanks.
“I have always been very polite to him, I have always supported him.
“But at a certain point, if you have a contract with me for another two years but you start publically expressing doubts – saying things like ‘I don’t know if I’m staying,’ ‘I don’t know whether the club will be able to keep their best players,’ ‘in life sometimes it’s best to end stories while they are good,’ – it sends clear messages of impatience and a lack of confidence.
“Maurizio never answered me [about whether he was staying]. If you close the door in my face, I will politely stay away so as to not disturb your work, but only up to a certain point.
“After that I have the right and the duty to protect the interests of the club and start to look elsewhere.”