The winter transfer window closes on Monday, and by then Napoli could be out two Brazilian defenders. Transfer speculation has been heating up around the club this week, and the last few waves of rumors have both Henrique and Bruno Uvini moving closer and closer to the exit door.
For Henrique, reports from Brazil have him "very close" to a return to his home country, with Cruzeiro in pole position to bring in the out-of-favor defender. Henrique arrived from Brazilian club Palmeiras a year ago for a €4 million fee, and he was enjoying far more success on home soil than he ever has in Europe, and certainly more than his disappointing stint in Naples. If Napoli can even just recoup his transfer fee from Cruzeiro, the club should consider the move a job well done.
Henrique has also been the subject of rumors of a move to Villarreal, though those have largely cooled as the week has gone on.
Bruno Uvini, strongly linked with a move to Palermo over the last few days, might be packing his bags for a different destination. Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon are believed to be making a hard push for Uvini after their sporting director told local media that they've long been interested in Uvini.
Sporting actually makes a fair bit of sense for Uvini. The speed and playing style of the Portuguese top division is probably a better fit for Uvini, and playing in a country that speaks Portuguese (albeit a slightly different kind than Brazilian Portuguese) would be far more comfortable for him. And with a fair bit of turnover on their back line on the last year, it's likely that Sporting can make far better use of Uvini than Napoli would do at this stage.
It's going to be interesting to see how these moves pan out. If both defenders leave, Napoli will be forced in to buying a central defender just to maintain depth, which would certainly help explain the sudden strong interest in Hector Moreno and Norbert Byomber over the last couple of days. This could wind up being one of those times that forcing a club's hand in the transfer market actually helps serve to improve the team, which is only a good thing.