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Mercato Madness: Napoli consider cash bid for Obiang, no player swap

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Napoli were reportedly offered targeted midfielder Pedro Obiang in a player-plus-cash deal involving one of the lesser lights of their roster, but would prefer to make the deal cash-only.

At least we know he can incite a great example of Gokhan Inler Face.
At least we know he can incite a great example of Gokhan Inler Face.
Paolo Bruno

In their continuing search for a midfielder, Napoli have reportedly turned their eyes to promising young midfielder Pedro Obiang. The 22 year old is one of the brightest young players in Italy, and currently plies his trade with Sampdoria, a side looking to sell some players in order to bring more money in to the club.

To that end, Sampdoria apparently floated the idea of a player-plus-cash swap deal for Obiang, one that would see the Spaniard move to Napoli in exchange for Miguel Britos and an undisclosed transfer fee. That would make a lot of sense for Napoli to do; Obiang would go a long ways towards helping their midfield, and Britos is arguably on the lowest rung of the defensive depth chart by a long ways. He hasn't been very good for Napoli in a long time, and using a player who probably shouldn't be on the roster to lower the fee of a player who can actually help the side is a smart move.

Apparently, however, Napoli nixed the idea, preferring to keep Britos and make a cash-only deal as they vie with other sides from Italy and England to try to work out a deal. If the bizarre report is true, it only adds weight to a confounding story line that's developed in recent weeks: the apparent love affair brewing between Rafa Benitez and Britos.

Despite losing his place thanks to consistently poor performances last year, eventually leading to the purchase of Henrique Buss in January and surely a factor in the acquisition of Kalidou Koulibaly, Britos has survived this summer with very little in the way of indication that he's on his way out. Indeed, Federico Fernandez is being sold instead of the Uruguayan, despite Fernandez being the man who replaced Britos in the lineup and vastly outperformed his fellow defender last season.

This certainly won't do anything to ease the growing frustrations in the fanbase. Britos is not any kind of a key figure for Napoli and the club would be best served selling him and replacing him with a far better player, which had initially appeared to be the case when Koulibaly arrived. On the plus side, at least they seem to be targeting a very good midfielder in Obiang, who would be a very smart buy for the club.