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Napoli in talks with Santos for Brazil national team star

Napoli might be getting a big up-and-coming name as a January reinforcement.

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Napoli can definitely use a little bit more attacking depth this January, that's no secret. Their attacking players are high-quality, but Napoli play a lot of matches on short rest thanks to the Europa League and, before too much longer, the Coppa Italia. One poorly-timed injury -- or in Napoli's current case, two plus a scare -- can leave them scrambling for answers.

Luckily, Napoli seem to be proactive in the transfer market already, even with the opening of the winter transfer window still weeks away. Reports in Brazil have been linking them to Santos and Brazil national team star Lucas Lima for a move worth around €20 million, and his agent has confirmed those reports.

I can confirm Napoli are interested and in talks with an intermediary in Italy who represents us. At the moment that is all I can say.

-Source: Football Italia

It's vague, but it makes a lot of sense. Santos are having money issues, and they could use the money from a potential sale of Lucas. Since most other big Brazilian and South American clubs are also having financial woes, a move abroad makes sense, and Napoli have never shied away from pursuing South American stars.

At 25 years old, Lucas Lima doesn't have much developing left to do, but if you've watched him in recent matches with the Brazil squad, you've seen him perform at a very high level. His creative skills and ability to penetrate the box are both top-notch, and he has enough positional versatility to play a few different roles for Napoli. He might even be able to help out as a more attacking backup for Marek Hamsik, which would be a wonderful bonus.

As for cost, the rumored figure is a €20 million fee as set by Santos. They rejected €13 million from Porto last summer, and given that Santos hold Lucas' contract for two more years and his recent surge in visibility as a top talent, they certainly have the leverage to aim for their asking price. If Napoli meet it, it would certainly indicate that they're not as worried about losing money this season as had been assumed.

For those unfamiliar with Lucas as a player, take a look at the video below. While obviously videos like this are tailored to make a player look as good as possible, it's hard not to be impressed by Lucas. "Dries Mertens on crack" is the descriptor that springs to mind watching it, and I've had similar thoughts while watching him with Brazil. If Napoli could pull this move off, it'd be a fantastic transfer.