Rumors surrounding Manolo Gabbiadini aren’t going away any time soon, and over the last four days or so he was at the center of multiple major transfer stories, most notably being the subject of a €25 million transfer bid from English Premier League side Everton — an offer that Napoli have reportedly rejected, and not just because they didn’t like the number.
While Everton’s bid is below the €30 million that Napoli are believed to be seeking for Gabbiadini, their refusal to part with the Italy international has much more reason behind it than that. They don’t want to let Gabbiadini go without first signing a replacement for his spot in the squad, and the two major efforts they made to land said replacement over the weekend both fell flat.
First, Napoli tried to work a swap deal with Fiorentina, sending Gabbiadini and an amount believed to be somewhat more than €10 million in exchange for Nikola Kalinic. Fiorentina refused because apparently they looked a gift horse in the mouth — we here at The Siren’s Song aren’t the biggest fans of Kalinic you’ll find these days. despite heartily defending him in the past — so Napoli moved on to a different option.
That option was Genoa striker Leonardo Pavoletti, a Livorno-born 27 year old who scored 14 goals in 25 matches last season. Napoli reportedly offered some €15 million for him, a princely sum for a striker without a lot of top-division experience, but not an unreasonable one for a striker who showed the skills and consistency that Pavoletti did a year ago, and not just in his goalscoring. He was a player who always demanded attention because of his ability to help his attack in more ways than just scoring goals, making the players around him better for his presence. That would have been a valuable asset for Napoli — but alas, Genoa rejected their offer.
For the time being, it looks as though Gabbiadini is staying put, as Everton are expected to move on to another target before the transfer window closes on Wednesday. There are other interested teams floating around, however, and Napoli don’t seem to have given up their search for a striker just yet. Don’t be surprised if Gabbiadini winds up wearing a different shirt before the window closes, as sad as that would be to see given the wasted potential such a move would almost certainly represent.