clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jose Callejon confirms Atletico Madrid offer, says he's "glad" Napoli rejected it

New, comments

Speaking to the Italian media about a range of topics, Napoli's Spanish winger confirmed that the club did receive a sizable offer for him from the defending La Liga champions -- and that he was glad the bid was rejected.

Giuseppe Bellini

A year ago, Jose Callejon was a once-heralded, but by then mostly-forgotten Spanish winger who had fallen victim to the talent vacuum that is Real Madrid. He was 26, at the back end of what's considered an attacker's "prime", and after Real committed themselves on a path towards buying Gareth Bale and Isco, what little playing time Callejon may have had available to him dried up.

Enter Napoli, who rescued him, Gonzalo Higuain, and Raul Albiol from the bench at the Bernabeu, with Callejon arriving for less than €10 million. Callejon quickly became a key figure in the new side being put together by Rafa Benitez. One year and 20 all-competitions goals later, and Callejon has gone from afterthought to star.

Understandably, that's brought some suitors to the table. Real's local rivals Atletico Madrid, the defending La Liga champions, have lost all three of their top attackers to other clubs, and were hoping to help retool their roster by bringing in Callejon. Their initial bid was reported to be €20 million, which Napoli rejected, but now according to an interview Callejon did with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Atleti came back with an even bigger offer.

While speaking about how happy he was at Napoli and his goals for next season (at least 21 goals and 12 assists, both numbers one better than last year's stats), La Gazzetta asked Callejon if he knew of "the latest" Atleti offer, putting the value of the bid at an incredible €28 million, to which Callejon simply said that his agent had made him aware of the bid. That would represent a massive profit in just one year if Napoli had said yes to the deal, but not only did they say no, they declared Callejon "untransferable".

That seems to have made Callejon happy, as he told La Gazzetta that "I was glad [Napoli rejected the offer], because I really want to wear this shirt, and I still have four years on my contract. I feel good here, and I feel the affection of the fans." The fans will be happy to hear that, because Callejon will almost certainly play a huge role in whatever success Napoli have this season.

The whole interview is well worth a read. He talks about feeling that Rafa is a comparable manager to Chelsea boss (and Callejon's former Real manager) Jose Mourinho, about his desire to one-up Cristiano Ronaldo in a Champions League final, and wanting to "throw everything possible" at Napoli's opponents to try to win a Scudetto. Callejon is a pretty interesting guy, in addition to being a great footballer.