If a Sporting Director flies to Germany and no one knows why, did he actually make the trip?
Well, in this case, yes.
Riccardo Bigon is in Germany today, and the Italian media is falling all over themselves to figure out why. Is he there to negotiate a sale? A purchase? Both? Neither? Is he maybe just there to buy lots of really good beer and bratwurst to take back to Dimaro?
Most likely his trip has to do with the negotiation of a player move or two in either directions. Napoli have been linked with multiple players based in the Bundesliga in recent weeks, and both Blerim Dzemaili and Valon Behrami have been connected with German clubs recently as well, with Hamburg SV linked to both in the last few days.
Hilariously, a stopoff in Brussels led to a wash of speculation that Napoli were going to try to make a move for, of all players, Marouane Fellaini. The Belgian international, currently plying his trade for Manchester United in England, had a disastrous season last year and wasn't much better for Belgium in the World Cup. New manager Louis Van Gaal apparently isn't enamored with him, and the going rumor for a few hours was that Bigon's stop in Brussels was to line up a loan.
Then Radio Kiss Kiss (a station regularly briefed by Napoli on the goings-on of the club) said his stop was a simple lunch layover. Not that a Brussels stop meaning a Fellaini loan was imminent made ANY sense whatsoever, but at least it wasn't true because wow was Fellaini awful last season and hilariously over-rated before that.
In any event, it will be interesting to see what comes of this trip. Di Marzio and others reported over the weekend that Bigon had found a way to bend Bayer Leverkusen's ear and possibly convince them to let Christoph Kramer out of his loan with Borussia Monchengladbach and sell him to Napoli. This trip could certainly lend some credence to that.
Napoli have also maintained an interest in Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka, who have in turn maintained their interest in Dzemailli, who has just one year left to run on his contract. And then of course Hamburg could be wanting to buy one or both of Dzei and Behrami as they desperately try to shore up their midfield and avoid relegation, which they had to stave off with a playoff match last season.
It could easily wind up being that nothing at all happens and Bigon comes back empty handed and with Dzei and Behrami still under contract. Sporting directors don't fly across the continent unless they feel something is imminent and would be best served by their physical presence, but things don't always go off as planned. Stay tuned, this next couple of days could be fascinating. Or boring. Or both!