Earlier today, we shared some news about the wages being paid out this season in Serie A, including the fact that net spending on salaries is significantly down from last season. But what of Napoli, specifically? What are they paying their players?
The good news is that Napoli are staying within their means, as we already know due to their excellent compliance with UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations. The amount the club is spending on wages this season is about on par with last...although that may not be the best news for a club that's looking to lift the scudetto for the first time since 1990. Particularly since it's Juventus that's paying out the most in player wages.
It's no surprise that Gonzalo Higuaín is Napoli's highest-paid player, on wages of €5.5m. He's second only to Daniele De Rossi, and earns more than Carlos Tévez, although Juventus's highest earner could well become Paul Pogba soon enough. Milan are giving laughable wages of €4m per year to both Fernando Torres and Philippe Mexès, while Inter are paying Nemanja Vidić and Rodrigo Palacio, both 32, €3.2m each.
On the other end of the spectrum, respected Serie A veterans seem to be willing to pay for comparative peanuts. Udinese give the biggest wages to Antonio Di Natale, of course, but that's still just €1.3m. Luca Toni is only earning €1m at Verona, Antonio Cassano €1.5m at Parma. And Francesco Totti may be earning €2.5m per year, but he's just the seventh-highest paid player at Roma.
As for Napoli, a bigger surprise is that Camilo Zúñiga comes in second, with €3.2m, followed by Marek Hamšík at €3m. Guess it really is Marek's love for Naples that's keeping him around.
There's also a good chance that Lorenzo Insigne may want a move away, particularly if relations with the fans don't get better. After all, he's making just €1.1m per year, although that's pretty high for young players in Serie A. Still, Stephan El Shaarawy's got his wages nearly doubled. Dries Mertens is only at €1.2m, so get that man a little bit more soon, ok?
A major surprise is the news that Jorginho makes less than €1m, earning just €600,000. That's the same as Duván Zapata and less than Giandomenico Mesto. Then again, Hellas Verona as a whole tends to pay their players almost nothing, so perhaps Jorginho is thrilled.
Finally, there's another good argument to be made for selling Walter Gargano: the Uruguayan is earning €1.7m, more than Gokhan Inler -- for doing pretty much nothing. Of course, this could be the reason he's not exactly appealing to many clubs.
Oh, and Rafa Benítez tops the list of highest paid managers in the league, making €3.5m per year. But Inter Milan are paying old friend Walter Mazzarri €3.3m, a close second to Rafa. Still, that makes it all the more imperative that the coach delivers this season.