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Is third time the charm for Napoli and Piotr Zielinski?

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Napoli are supposedly very close to signing the Polish international midfielder.

Ukraine v Poland - Group C: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Here we go again: reports in Italy are insistent that Udinese midfielder Piotr Zielinski is on the verge of a transfer to Napoli, one expected to be completed this week. This is now the third time we’ve had such reports over the last six weeks, and considering how not-well those reports ended the last two times, there’s plenty of reason to doubt the veracity of this latest burst of news.

Still, if you take a few minutes to look at the content of the reports, it’s not entirely unlikely that something can happen. This new resurgence of what we’ll optimistically call “hope” — wait, what’s optimism again? I forgot after the mess of the last couple of weeks — is apparently due to Udinese not being able to work out Zielinski’s long-hoped for deal with Liverpool and not really wanting to mess around and keep waiting to unload a player who clearly doesn’t want to be there. He’s their one big chip to sell this summer, one they need to move in order to make other transfers to improve their team, so Udinese need to get moving.

So with Napoli still willing to bring Zielinski in as a player to improve their team — both in quality and in much-needed depth as a creative midfielder — Udinese are, apparently, trying to force him to put his Liverpool dream on hold and move to Napoli now. Zielinski is, so the reports go, willing to make do with such a move and reunite with a manager who he performed well for in Maurizio Sarri, so this move should, hopefully, be done soon.

Zielinski’s agent was quoted on Monday as saying that we’ll know where his client lands on Thursday, though he declined to name Napoli as the team he’ll sign with. That said, Napoli are the only team he’s currently being linked with, as it’s been at least two weeks since there’s been any significant mention of a move to AC Milan or Juventus, the other two teams who have been “keen” on signing the young Polish international.

Don’t hold your breath on this transfer saga finally coming to a positive conclusion for Napoli — we’ve been teased too many times now — but it does, at least, look like we’ll get some conclusion this week.