Even though the winter transfer window has barely been closed for a month, we're already starting to see the Great Transfer Rumor Machine spin up to get ready for the summer. With rumors already flying thick and fast, with Inter linked to Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure, and Juve Axel Witsel, let's wait a second to see what name gets spat out for Napoli.
OK, here it comes. The chute is opening, and we get... Mirko Valdifiori? What?!
The 28 year old Italian midfielder has been with Empoli since 2008, and is apparently ready to end that spell despite having a contract that runs for two more seasons. He's scored no goals this season in Serie A, and indeed has only scored four times in his entire career, all of which came in Serie B action.
According to Bigon's agent, Napoli have been aggressively pursuing Valdifiori over the past few weeks, going head to head with AC Milan for the midfielder's signature. This is probably all just agent-speak to try to draw attention from other clubs, because, well...
Valdifiori just isn't very good.
Look, I'm sure he's a nice guy and a great teammate, but he's just not good enough to play for Napoli. As much crap as we give Walter Gargano and Gokhan Inler for their poor form at times, they're both better than Valdifiori. Even as a depth player, he's a step back from what Napoli already have, and that doesn't make sense at all.
It also doesn't fit with anything Napoli have done under Aurelio De Laurentiis. Most of the club's transfers under him, especially in the last five years or so, fall under one of two categories: very good players in their prime (Gonzalo Higuain, Jose Callejon, Dries Mertens), or talented youngsters with big upside (Manolo Gabbiadini, Kalidou Koulibaly, Faouzi Ghoulam, heck even Edu Vargas fits that description). We do occasionally see veterans brought in to play needed backup roles, like Giandomenico Mesto or Mariano Andujar, but by and large, Napoli just don't bring in guys like Valdifiori any more.
Odds are very good that this is just agent-speak BS and not even remotely something that will happen, but in the meantime we can sit and scratch our heads in confusion and chuckle at the pure absurdity of such a rumor.