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Napoli early summer dealings


With the transfer window now open this summer, let's look at the early moves that Napoli has completed so far. Back in November, I wrote a piece ranking the positions of need and you can view that here.

Arrivals

The club has brought in six players so far. Right-winger, Luigi Liguori has never appeared in even a Serie B match so far and looks to be a player for the future, as he is only 21 years old. The other five newcomers are for the defense. We were aware of the three goalkeepers arriving last year. David Ospina arrives permanently from Arsenal after making 17 Serie Appearances and played in all the clubs Champions League games last season. Ospina will have competition from both Orestis Karnezis and Alex Meret, who arrive from Udinese. Karnezis made nine appearances last season for the Partenopei, but Meret is the one I feel fans should be excited about. A 22-year-old who made 14 Serie A appearances for Napoli last season came over in a deal worth 22 million Euros. Moving forward, the club also brought over 2 defenders so far.

Central Defender Konstantinos Manolas has arrived this summer in a 36 million euro move. The 28-year-old Greek international is hoping to continue the good form he was in last season with Roma. Should the club be able to keep hold of Koulibaly, those two would create a powerful duo in the center of defense. Finally, the club also signed Giovanni Di Lorenzo from Empoli for nine million Euros. Di Lorenzo will be looking to challenge Elseid Hysaj for regular minutes on the right side of the defense. The 25-year-old was a steady presence for the Tuscan side, missing only 90 minutes of the entire Serie A season. He scored five goals and assisted three others last season, including scoring the winner against his new club on matchday 30.

Departures

The club has seen 5 players move on so far this summer. Defensive midfielder Umberto Otranto has moved on the club, the 21-year-old spent the season on loan between two different clubs in Serie C. Igor Lasicki moved back to his native Poland, as the center back was sold for 100,000 Euros to Pogon Szczecin. Neither of those players made an appearance for the Partenopei and I doubt that Carlo Ancellotti considered either as part of the clubs long term plans.

Roberto Insigne has also left the club, moving to Benevento, where he spent last season on loan. He made just two appearances for Napoli during his time with the club, both back in the 2012/2013 season. Center back Raul Albiol is also moving on from Napoli, returning to his native Spain in a 5 million Euros transfer to Villarreal. Considering he'll be turning 34 in September, getting 5 million is a shrewd bit of business for the club. Albiol made 20 appearances last season, but a knee injury saw him miss most of the second half of the season. Albiol will be a tough loss as his vast experience will be hard to replicate.

Finally, another big loss is Defensive Midfielder, Amadou Diawara. The 21-year-old is moving to Roma for 21 million Euros. Roma must view Diawara as a promising player for the future because he wasn't a very integral player for Ancelotti this past season. The Guinean international made 19 appearances across all competitions, but didn't appear in the Champions League campaign, and only played a complete 90 minutes in just five of those games.

Rumors

One rumor that has gathered steam in the last week is that Napoli is in the running for Fenerbahce winger and North Macedonian international Elif Elmas. Reports for Turkish Football blog (found here) that the two clubs have not reached an agreement, but they are continuing the discussion. Napoli has offered 15 million Euros, but Fenerbahce feels he is worth around 20 million. Elmas has made 40 appearances for the Istanbul giants last season, scoring four goals.

According to the English newspaper, The Telegraph, Napoli could be trying to purchase Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, who is also being targeted by Arsenal. Celtic are said to have asked for 25 million pounds for the Scottish international, which I believe could be too high for Napoli to consider.

And Finally

The longer into the transfer window that Kalidou Koulibaly stays with Napoli, the more I genuinely believe that he will remain with the club for the coming season. I doubt that AdL loses his nerve and doesn't drop his price. The thought of him partnering with Manolas at the center of defense means that we could see an even better defense than the first half of last season, where Albiol and Koulibaly anchored a defense that conceded just 17 goals in 19 matches.

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