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Mercato Madness: Napoli to renew Obiang interest in January?

After interest in buying the Sampdoria midfielder didn't pan out over the summer, new reports indicate that Napoli might be planning a second go at it in January.

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press

One of Italy's most surprising stories this season has been the rise of Sampdoria, with Sinisa Mihajlovic's side standing a very convincing third place with 15 points in seven matches. A big part of their success has been Pedro Obiang, their Spanish holding midfielder who's really started to show his potential this season.

Napoli were interested in signing Obiang in the summer, but that interest never seemed to turn in to a concrete offer. Now, though, with midfield performance and depth proving to be a bit of an issue for the partenopei, that interest has been renewed, at least according to Il Mattino.

Of course, now that Obiang's been playing better than ever this season, he'll likely be more expensive than he would have been in the summer. There's also the hitch that he's one of Mihajlovic's favorites, and will likely be very difficult to get him out of the Serbian manager's hands. Though by then, Mihajlovic may not even be Sampdoria's manager, as seemingly every club in Italy with a rocky managerial situation and many of the others in Europe are hoping to snap him up to replace their current manager.

If Napoli do decide to pursue Obiang and manager to get him, it will be just as smart a signing in January as it would have been in the summer. As far as young defensively-minded midfielders go, it's hard to find a better one; his strength, athleticism, and instincts have served him well, and he has all the hallmarks of a player with a whole lot more ceiling left to go.

With Walter Gargano playing poorly, Gokhan Inler disappointing, and Jorginho hurt for most of the season, the midfield pivot has been a problem for Napoli this season. David Lopez has been impressive when called upon, but there's only so much he can do by himself. Adding in a player of Obiang's quality to the mix gives more depth, more options, and more quality. That's not a bad plan at all.