Another day, and still no Davide Astori signing. We're coming up on two full weeks since his transfer was agreed and he was supposed to head to Napoli's training retreat at Dimaro for his medical, and yet still nothing has actually been resolved. In point of fact, we may be further from a deal now, as a meeting between representatives of Astori and Napoli broke up Friday evening having been unable to resolve matters.
At the core of the problem seems to -- still -- be image rights. Napoli prefer to hold their players' image rights in order to control how, when, and where their faces and names are used for commercial and promotional purposes. It helps Napoli control the financial benefits of such things, but also allows them to prevent a third party from forcing players to do events or the like at times that could be detrimental to the club.
That preference of Napoli's is problematic in this case because Astori was sponsored by Puma, a company that similarly likes to control image rights. That meant that Astori had to get out of that sponsorship contract before he could sign -- but while all indications are that he's a simple signature away from that, things are still dragging on and on and on.
Now we might know why: Fiorentina are rumored to be trying to turn Astori's head and beat Napoli to his signature. Notably, Fiorentina do not give a hoot about image rights, allowing him to stay with Puma and carry on as normal, just with a purple shirt on. Now between this interference and their already-growing frustration with the state of "negotiations," Cristiano Giuntoli has apparently given Astori's agent a Monday deadline to sign, or Napoli drop the deal.
Here's the thing, though -- Napoli's stance on image rights isn't a secret. It's been out there, in the world, for years. If Astori didn't know about it going in, then he can only blame his agent for putting him into a spot he apparently didn't want to be in with Napoli, because you can damn sure guarantee that his agent knew the score going in.
So sure, Davide. Run off to Fiorentina if you want. You're more likely to start there anyways, though viola fans might not like that much after awhile.