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Mercato Madness: Villarreal after Henrique?

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Napoli may soon be dumping a disappointing defender as Villarreal look to plug a gap in their squad.

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Spanish side Villarreal are getting a big chunk of change from Arsenal in exchange for center back Gabriel Paulista, and apparently some of that money might soon be headed Napoli's way. Villarreal are reportedly interested in bringing in versatile Napoli defender Henrique Buss to Spain to help replace Paulista, and it seems as though Napoli aren't entirely opposed to the idea of letting the Brazilian go.

Why Villarreal think he can help is a little mysterious; Henrique has played just ten times for Napoli this season and hasn't played particularly well since a decent spell as a fill-in for Christian Maggio almost a year ago. But if they want to pay real cash money to get Napoli to let him go, well, who are we to judge?

Perhaps Villarreal were impressed by Henrique being named to Brazil's World Cup squad, though it's not as though he made a massive impact in the tournament. The defender, presumably brought in to the squad to serve as a versatile reserve defender, played just two minutes in the whole World Cup. He's made only six appearances for the senior Brazil squad, so it's not exactly like he's been a regular in the side either.

If Napoli let Henrique go, though, they will have to step up their efforts to secure another central defender. They probably should be anyways, but losing Henrique will give them just three first-team bodies in the middle, and with the league, Coppa Italia, and Europa League all still in play, that's simply not enough. Riccardo Bigon and his scouting staff had better be pulling their notes on defenders together as we speak if there's any truth to this rumor.