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Mercato Madness: Napoli's Matteo Darmian pursuit is over ... for now

Napoli have been linked with Torino defender Matteo Darmian all month long, but it looks like they'll wait until summer to try to make that move.

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One of the long-simmering rumors throughout this winter transfer window has been the will-they-won't-they debate on Napoli's interest in Torino right back Matteo Darmian. Napoli supposedly have identified him as their preferred replacement for Christian Maggio in the long term, the question now just seems to be when they'll actually try to get him.

Early in the window there were rumors about a swap deal between the two clubs involving sending Duvan Zapata to Turin in order to get Darmian, but obviously that didn't happen. Darmian would be awfully good for Napoli to get, but giving up a good young striker like Zapata when you don't have a ton of depth there makes that a hard ask.

Now Torino's president has stated unequivocally that Darmian will not be leaving Turin this month. While he said that Torino would be trying to extend Darmian's current deal, which expires in 2017, he also admitted that "a number" of clubs have been after Darmian, who turned 25 in December, trying to arrange a summer transfer. Napoli are definitely one of those clubs, and don't be surprised if he's priority number one as soon as the window opens in June.

Darmian has primarily been a right back during his career, but he's also very good on the left and can do fairly well in the middle if need be. He's even played in midfield from time to time and looked passably decent doing it. But for Napoli, he'd be a right back, the heir apparent to Christian Maggio and a major part of the future of the club.

It'd be a brilliant signing if Napoli can get Darmian without breaking the bank. It won't be easy, since lots of clubs around Europe will be after him, but if they can pull it off, it will make the core of this club all the stronger.