Mercato Madness: Two players set to join when the window opens?

I couldn't resist cropping in such a way that it appears Nicolas N'Koulou has just killed a BVB player - Dennis Grombkowski

Looks like Rafa Benítez and his band of merry men have their eyes trained on two players from Ligue 1. What are your thoughts?

The January transfer window opens on Wednesday and it looks as though Napoli may be set to sign two new players almost immediately. Maxime Gonalons and Nicolas N’Koulou are the names circulating heavily through the press.

Maxime Gonalons

According to reports, Napoli are still trying to come to an arrangement with Lyon on a fee for the defensive midfielder. It looks like the fee will be €12m plus bonuses, of course, which seems like a lot for a guy labeled a "French international" that has a grand total of six caps. But I don't watch Ligue 1 so who knows, maybe the 24 year old is worth double that. Thoughts? Do any of you watch French football with any regularity?

Nicolas N'Koulou

Looks like Napoli are closer on getting this deal done, which is reassuring because N'Koulou is a defender. Yes, a defender! Again, I don't watch French football but he's not broken and isn't throwing a pouty temper tantrum so how can this be bad? It'd be nicer, of course, to have a couple fullbacks, but let's walk before we can run, eh? Nicolas Alexis Julioz N'Koulou N'Doubena is 23 years old and defends for Marseille, although I remember little of him from Napoli's Champions League matches against OM. Possibly because I tend to have a cushion shoved over my eyes during those games. On closer examination, N'Koulou performed a last ditch tackle in the first match in France and did awfully well defending in the reverse fixture, so I say we blame him for not scoring more and thus not making it to the knockout stages.

What are your thoughts? Obviously the team at TSS will be looking further into these two players to provide greater insight as to how they'll fit into this Napoli side, but we'd love to hear from you. Do you watch Ligue 1? Were you able to keep your eyes open during the Marseille matches? Should these guys join the partenopei? Leave your comments below.

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