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Gianluca Grava to become Sporting Director?

With Riccardo Bigon in his way out, Napoli might look to replace him from within.

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Napoli need a new sporting director with Riccardo Bigon looking set to leave for Hellas Verona, and they may have already found their man. In fact, they already employ him.

Apparently Napoli are strongly considering promoting Gianluca Grava to the sporting director role from his current role as the technical manager of the primavera academy system. Grava is a former Napoli defender and captain, and in a very real way he helped the club become what it is today.

Such an appointment would not be without significant concerns, however. Grava has exactly zero relevant experience, beyond a small amount of recruitment done for Napoli's academy. Napoli need someone experienced and capable of recruiting major talent, and there's zero reason to think that Grava is that man. Napoli need someone of impact and gravitas, not, as some fans fear Grava would be, a "yes man" for Aurelio De Laurentiis.

The promotion wouldn't be entirely nonsensical, with Napoli seeming to want to prioritize developing players through their academy system in the future, but then it might seem more suiting to leave Grava where he is and let him work there. This just doesn't feel like the right move for Napoli to make, so hopefully this is more rumor than fact. Not that Grava doesn't deserve such an opportunity somewhere, but  more than Napoli need someone of a more proven pedigree in that position at this point, and Grava simply lacks the experience the club needs.

Hopefully one day we can talk of Grava becoming Napoli's sporting director with a smile and a celebration, but today is not yet that day.