We're still two and a half months from the January transfer window opening, but that doesn't mean that we won't already be subjected to numerous rumors -- and the season for rumors is already heating up, not even six weeks after the close of the summer window. For Napoli, the first big rumor of the season is a familiar one, with reports that they're revisiting a summer transfer attempt, and are already in talks with Tottenham Hotspur to sign Mousa Dembele for around €14 million in January.
On the surface, it seems like a good move. Napoli could use another energetic, creative midfielder to help improve their rotation and depth, if only to keep Allan from having to pull double-duty as a starting box-to-box mid and Marek Hamsik's backup. Adding more tactical options both for the starting lineup and substitution choices to Maurizio Sarri's toolbox would certainly be a good thing, and while that fee is pricey, Dembele is well worth it, only struggling for playing time as a result of a change in Tottenham's priorities for midfield skillsets, not a lack or decline in his own skill.
The trouble crops up, as it so often does with transfer rumors, once you start digging into the details and reasoning and sourcing of the rumor. Why would Napoli spend more on a player than they did for Allan -- not to mention dealing with Premier League-level wages -- when he's not going to be starting regularly? Why would Dembele move to a team where he'd also be a backup when he wants more playing time? Why move to Italy when there's a raft of Premier League teams who need a better starting midfielder in England who are interested in him?
Then there's the sourcing. The reports in Italy -- all stemming from a report in, of all the papers to start this, Tuttosport -- all say that "reports in England" say that Napoli are in talks with Spurs and may have already agreed personal terms with Dembele. The trouble is, those "reports in England," lead by the Daily Express, all source Tuttosport and "reports in Italy." It's cyclical and sourceless, and that only means one thing: straight bullshit.
It's actually a shame, because Dembele would be a good player for Napoli, but the money, fit from his side, and sourcing just don't add up. Another one bites the dust...