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Mercato Madness: Napoli weigh midfield options, contact Dutch player's agent

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With the Fellaini deal still stalled thanks to Manchester United's demands, Napoli have contacted the representation of a Netherlands international midfielder and are considering a move for an Italy-based Spaniard.

Jamie McDonald

With the Marouane Fellaini saga still drawing out interminably thanks to disagreements on fees and wages, Napoli are protecting themselves by looking at other options for midfield in case an agreement can't be made.

To that end, Napoli have apparently been in contact with the representation of Jonathan De Guzman, Villareal's Netherlands international midfielder who spent the last two years on loan with Swansea City. De Guzman isn't a traditional holding midfielder like Napoli have typically been after this summer, but he does offer a lot of the same attributes that Jorginho does, in that he offers a creative presence in midfield who also does a lot of defensive and utility things well, using positioning, interceptions, and shielding runs to defend effectively rather than more traditional, physical defensive work like Fellaini does.

De Guzman is a bit of an odd fit since Napoli already has Jorginho, but De Guzman does make sense in some ways. His creativity from midfield makes him a good vice-Hamsik option (which his former Swansea teammate Michu also helps with), and his ability to rotate with both Jorginho and Hamsik can keep both players fresh down the long haul of the season.

One of De Guzman's agents was spotted talking to multiple Napoli staffers during and after the Paris Saint-Germain friendly yesterday, including Riccardo Bigon's chief assistant Maurizio Michelli. If Napoli want to buy the Dutch midfielder, they'll have to move quickly; Queen's Park Rangers are believed to be working on a €7 million deal for De Guzman.

It's also possible that Napoli were looking at another player represented by De Guzman's agents; they also represent a pair of former Chelsea players in Lille's winger Salomon Kalou and PSV's center back Jeffrey Bruma. Neither is as obvious a fit for Napoli as De Guzman, though; Kalou is in decline and cup-tied to Lille in European competition, and Bruma isn't a clear upgrade on Raul Albiol or Kalidou Koulibaly in defense.

It's also been reported that Napoli are keeping a close eye on talented Sampdoria midfielder Pedro Obiang. The 22 year old Spaniard is more of a holding mid, though with the versatility to play other roles as well. He's considered one of Spain's more intriguing young midfield talents, and last season looked more than ready for a greater challenge than Sampdoria can offer. No formal contact has been made, but Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Napoli are considering making an offer. Obiang makes a lot of sense, and it'd be hard to be upset with such a move.