As Napoli prepare for their Champions League tie against Athletic Bilbao, their fans are hoping for some good news in the transfer market. By reports, that good news is close.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli have provisionally agreed to a deal with Jonathan De Guzman ahead of coming to terms with Villarreal on a transfer. The midfielder, who spent the last two years with Swansea City on loan, has been available all summer from Villareal, but previously had only drawn significant interest from Queen's Park Rangers, as Swansea felt they couldn't afford his fee.
It's believed that a deal will take around €7 million to get done, a reasonable fee for a midfielder of De Guzman's talents. Since all three parties seem interested in making this happen it shouldn't take too terribly long to complete; La Gazzetta believes is will be not too long after the first leg of the Champions League tie. That won't help in the second leg away in Spain, but it would give Napoli plenty of time before the transfer window shuts to get another deal or two done.
While normally a player can't negotiate with a purchasing club until after his current club have agreed to the terms of a sale, it's not unusual for clubs to allow players they intend to sell to negotiate with clubs that are interested in them, especially this close to the end of the transfer window. It helps speed the process along to get both sides of the deal done at once, and helps keep the player happy as he and his agent work to find a new home.
Bringing in De Guzman would be a good little bit of business for Napoli, improving their depth in midfield and adding another playmaker to the mix with Marek Hamsik, Jorginho, and Michu. They'd still need to bring in a more physical midfielder to play as the ball-winner the team has been looking to get for a year now, but this is a good solution to the rest of the midfield depth issues.