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Piotr Zielinski officially signs with Napoli

No, really. There’s a “shaking hands with Aurelio” tweet and everything.

Poland v Serbia - International Friendly Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Remember that transfer Napoli were trying for but we never thought would be finished? No, not Maksimovic. No, not Herrera. No, not ... nevermind. There’s too many to list. That OTHER transfer that we never thought would get done is done, however: Napoli have officially signed Piotr Zielinski on a transfer from Udinese.

The deal, believed to be a €16 million transfer with a five-year contract for Zielinski, was confirmed by Napoli on Thursday with a brief announcement on the club’s official website. We were also treated to not just Aurelio De Laurentiis tweeting his traditional welcome, but also a picture of him shaking hands with his newest signing.

Zielinski, 22, spent the last two years away on loan at Empoli, where he played well as a rotational player under Maurizio Sarri two seasons ago before breaking out big-time last year. Udinese were never likely to retain him, however, and despite a long attempt at a courtship with Liverpool and occasional flirtations with Juventus and AC Milan, he finally landed with Napoli after over a month of speculation.

A full Poland international, Zielinski has 16 caps and three goals for his country, including a group stage start in Euro 2016. His experience, youth, quality, and upside all make him a very attractive target for Napoli, especially since his creative skills make him the backup for Marek Hamsik they’ve long needed, but still offers them options off the bench or rotating in elsewhere in midfield.

While the signing process was a frustrating and long one, the deal is finally done and we can finally say: welcome to Napoli, Piotr Zielinski. We hope your stay is a long and successful one.