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Mercato Madness: Napoli closing on potential Gyomber deal

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After jumping in on Sampdoria's attempt to sign the Catania defender, Napoli appear to be the favorites to land Norbert Gyomber.

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Napoli need another central defender. Every fan of the club knows this. Kalidou Koulibaly has been awesome, but Raul Albiol has taken a pretty big step back from his performances last season. When one or both of those two can't start, both Henrique and Miguel Britos have typically been somewhere between mediocre and disastrous when called on. Without another center back of better quality in the side, Napoli are one long-term injury away from seeing their chances of finishing in the top three go up in smoke.

With that in mind, the news this week that Napoli are interested in Norbert Gyomber was greeted with open arms, as he's a fairly good center back who probably wouldn't break the bank if Napoli do sign him. Now with reports that indicate Napoli as the apparent strong frontrunner to pry him away from Catania, likely using the prospect of a Roberto Insigne loan as incentive, has been greeted with open arms.

Sampdoria had also been involved in talks for Gyomber, but apparently pulled out of negotiations once it became clear that they couldn't beat Napoli's offer.

Gyomber is a 22 year old Slovakian who joined Catania before last season and largely acquitted himself well in his 15 starts despite Catania's ultimate relegation from Serie A. This season he's played just seven league matches thanks to an injury that kept him out from early November until the winter break, but by all accounts he performed well before going down.

Gyomber also broke in to the Slovakian international side in the last year after previously earning 18 U-21 caps, making seven appearances with the senior squad, including Slovakia's first three Euro 2016 qualifiers. He's shown versatility with the national side,  playing 90 good minutes as a defensive midfielder in Slovakia's shock win over Spain, as well as starting as a left back against Belarus.

By all indications, Gyomber would be an excellent signing for Napoli as long as the money is right. Adding Gyomber to the players Napoli brought in at the beginning of this transfer window would make this January an unqualified success for the club.