One of the hottest transfer commodities in Italy this winter is Sampdoria forward Manolo Gabbiadini. Napoli want him, Inter want him, Juventus want him, and even teams in England are apparently taking a long look at the 23 year old Italian. Gabbiadini has performed well this season, and looks to have even more potential to unlock down the line. With Sampdoria not having the greatest financial resources, even for an Italian team, now may be the time to sell him, as his value has never been higher.
According to their sporting director, Carlo Osti, Sampdoria has no such intentions if they can help it. "We don’t intend to weaken our team in January, unless an offer arrives which we can’t turn down," Osti told a radio station in Genoa. He also noted, as many have missed, that Gabbiadini is co-owned by Juventus, which complicates any potential transfer deal, and almost seemed to scoff at a €14 million fee being enough to get Samp to sell Gabbiadini.
Speculation that Napoli were closing in on a deal ramped up after the match, as Osti was seen talking to his Napoli counterpart Riccardo Bigon for several minutes after the final whistle. Osti, however, claims that had nothing to do with Gabbiadini: "There was a conversation with Bigon, but it was because we have a mutual friend who asked me for a Napoli shirt, which Bigon gave me after the game."
Now, in the grand scheme of things, these quotes don't actually mean that Samp won't be selling Gabbiadini. In fact, if anything Osti's words make it even more likely that Gabbi will be available in January. Osti's simply saying-without-saying that the offers he's received so far aren't good enough, and that interested clubs need to step up their game.
Trouble is, €14 million is probably already too much for Gabbiadini, and more is just going to price him off the market. That's the damning part of co-ownership; since two teams need to be bought out instead of just one, one team inevitably needs to drive the total fee up to make a sale financially justifiable for them. That's one aspect of co-ownership that teams will be glad to see the back of once the last few co-ownership arrangements are finally resolved this summer.