Serie A manager re-hired by same club two days after being sacked in incredible twist
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Salernitana manager Davide Nicola was sacked and then re-hired in the space of two days in one of the most bizarre u-turns in football.
Salernitana were humbled 8-2 by Atalanta on Sunday, with former Everton, Fulham and Leicester winger Ademola Lookman bagging a brace.
With the team occupying 16th place after 18 games, the board felt it was time to relieve Nicola of his duties and announced his dismissal on Monday.
They then turned their attentions to replacing the former Torino and Genoa boss and reportedly tried to convince Rafa Benitez to return to management.
Leading candidates Roberto D’Aversa and Leonardo Semplici were also spoken to, with a six-month contract on the table.
No deal could be struck with any of the three managers though and so, incredibly, Nicola has returned to the fold on Wednesday.
It's said the club's president Danilo Iervolino spoke with the players and then called Nicola, who agreed to come back.
The 49-year-old explained the unusual predicament on social media and thanked both the president and sporting director Morgan De Sanctis.
“I will tell you the truth. I received a call from President Iervolino yesterday,” Nicola explained.
“With his methods, which are always lovely and friendly, he explained to me the reasons for his painful decision which he had to take to highlight discontinuity after a bad defeat against Atalanta in Bergamo.
“I apologised, taking responsibility for a performance that was not adequate and the resulting heavy defeat. I believe in this team and its men and this great club.
“I strongly demanded the President reconsider his decision knowing to deal with a human soul that has a deep sensitivity to understanding and strongly wants to build a different football. I love Salerno and strongly believe in this project.
“The President has always given us passion, personality and desire to reach impossible targets. He firmly believes that when men push in the same direction, they can do extraordinary things.
“I thank the President for calling me; this means that the new football is made of passion and heart, and I want to repay his trust with all my love. I thank director Morgan De Sanctis for the mediation. Without him, this operation would not be possible. We have weeks of hard work ahead to reach our targets.
“Let’s start again, all together and recount another extraordinary history of football, giving the Granata fans the same passion and sense of belonging they always show us. This is Salerno, this is Salernitana, much more than just a football club.”
Nicola took the Salernitana job in February 2022 and managed to steer them away from relegation after collecting 18 points from the final 15 games.
He was rewarded with a new two-year contract in June and will now take charge of the derby against league leaders Napoli on Saturday.