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Napoli's pursuit of midfield help falls short

Napoli seemed to try to go after several different midfielders to improve the squad, but couldn't seal the deal on any of them.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Napoli started the transfer window strong, signing Ivan Strinic and Manolo Gabbiadini in deals agreed before the window even opened, but have been left frustrated in their efforts to sign further reinforcements to the squad. There's been consistent rumors tying them to various midfielders, but none of them have panned out.

Annoyingly, Inter Milan are the ones who have mostly been to blame for those deals failing. Summer targets Lucas Leiva and Mario Suarez were both linked again to potential Napoli deals early in the window, but the desperation of Roberto Mancini to improve the quality of his midfield usurped those rumors, with Inter strongly, loudly, and repeatedly linked to both players.

Another, creative Croatian international midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, was very strongly linked to Napoli two weeks ago, with Riccardo Bigon even publicly saying that he would like to bring Brozovic in to Napoli's squad. The idea made a lot of sense; with Jorginho and Jonathan De Guzman struggling for consistent form and Michu both hurt and playing terribly, Napoli needed a midfielder who offered a creative spark either from the pivot or as a reserve option for Marek Hamsik, and the 22 year old Croatian fit that bill.

Now, though, Brozovic is headed to Inter, with a deal all but finalized. Whether Napoli didn't get a formalized offer in or Inter simply trumped it is unknown, but the end result is still disappointing. Couple that with apparently failing to pull the interest of Ignacio Camacho, Malaga's 24 year old Spanish midfielder that Napoli have seemed to long covet, and it's hard to look at Napoli's pursuit of midfield reinforcement without a vague sense of disappointment.

Obviously there's still time in the window to try and pull in another player in the middle of the pitch -- or, just throwing this out there, a central defender -- but the sense is slowly growing that Napoli's transfer business is done. It'd be understandable if Napoli don't make another move from a financial standpoint, with their income limited by a lack of Champions League football this year, but given some of the specific needs of the club still going unsolved for more and more time, it's also a little hard to be completely happy.