With January fast approaching, many teams are looking at their players contracts and deciding who needs to get a new deal or not. With the opening of the winter transfer window, clubs also gain the ability to offer pre-contract deals to players who have contracts expiring at the end of the season, allowing them to set up free transfers in advance.
Christian Maggio is one such player with a deal that's up at the end of the season. The 32 year old right back (who turns 33 in February) has long been a part of the Napoli squad, and will almost certainly end the season with over 200 appearances for the partenopei. He's the club's vice-captain and a leader on the pitch, though his actual skillful talents have been rapidly eroding over the past couple of years.
According to his agent, though, Maggio has yet to receive so much as a "what do you think about this" call from Napoli's staff regarding a new contract. While Massimo Briaschi says his client has "the respect of Rafa Benitez," what he really wants is a new deal.
"We’re at a point where I haven’t met the club to discuss it, nor are there any meetings on the horizon to discuss Christian’s future.
"Maggio has been at Napoli for seven years, he’s fine here, but it takes two to agree on a renewal. When it comes to it, [Riccardo] Bigon will call us and tell us if there’s a desire to extend the relationship.
"We’ll see what happens in the future, and if necessary we’ll look at all our options."
While Maggio is certainly replaceable, and indeed finding a younger, better right back should be a priority for Napoli, Maggio still has a lot to offer the squad in terms of his leadership and experience. He would make a valuable backup to a future starting right back, especially if he were to agree to wages that better suited a smaller role. From there, he could even potentially transition to a coaching role if he were so inclined.
To get the ball rolling on any of that, though, Napoli first have to offer him a deal, or at least sit down at the table. As Briaschi said: it takes two to tango. Put on your dancing shoes, Bigon. Maggio may not be what he once was, but he can still help the side you're working to build.