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Empoli sack coach Aurelio Andreazzoli on his 65th birthday

Dries Mertens claimed the match ball with a dazzling three-goal display as Napoli dismantled relegation-threatened Empoli.

Serie A club Empoli dampened coach Aurelio Andreazzoli's 65th birthday celebrations on Monday by sacking him after a poor run of results.

He was dismissed despite leading Empoli back into the top flight last season when they won the Serie B title by 13 points.

"To Andreazzoli, the main protagonist in that wonderful journey last season which allowed us to return to the big stage of the highest league, we send the most heartfelt thanks for his work," said the club in a statement.

Andreazzoli had...

Arsenal youngster Ismael Bennacer joins Empoli for undisclosed fee

Ismael Bennacer during his time in London
Ismael Bennacer has made a permanent move to Empoli.

Arsenal have sold academy midfielder Ismael Bennacer to Italian club Empoli for an undisclosed fee.

Bennacer, a 19-year-old Algeria international, joined the Gunners in 2015 and played in the 3-0 League Cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday that year.

However, that was his only appearance for Arsene Wenger's side and he spent the second half of last season on loan at French club Tours.

Bennacer grew up in France and represented them at youth level but switched allegiance to Algeria and was called up to...