Things haven't exactly gone to plan for Ciro Immobile this season. After a solid season with Genoa and an incredible one with Torino that saw him win the capocannoniere for scoring the most goals in Serie A, his transfer to Germany and Borussia Dortmund was supposed to be the move that made him a star.
Instead, BVB have struggled badly this season, and Immobile has struggled right along with them. Yes, he's scored ten goals across all competitions, but of late he's found playing time difficult to come by, and he's scored just three times in seventeen league appearances -- appearances in which he's totaled less than 900 minutes on the pitch, a sad sign of his mostly peripheral role in the side at this point.
That's lead to a slew of rumors of late that Immobile might be headed back to Italy this summer, and given his local ties to Naples, Napoli fans everywhere have been hoping that the potent striker might be wearing the right shade of blue next season. There's been nothing concrete to suggest that such a move might happen -- at least, not until now.
Fielding questions about his client, Immobile's agent Marco Sommella was on Radio CRC recently, and had some interesting things to say. "[Rumors that he'd sold his house in Dortmund are] incorrect, because he never bought a house in Dortmund," Sommella said when asked about that report. "A Neapolitan lad would never buy a house after six months."
A player selling a house is generally seen as a sure sign that he's leaving, but as Sommella pointed out, Immobile never had one to sell. Of course, that also makes it easier to leave, without having to deal with the complicated financial ties property ownership creates.
"Two years ago Dortmund played in the Champions League final," Sommella went on to say when asked about whether or not his client wanted out of Dortmund. "No-one expected this slump, but we'll make our evaluations at the end of the season."
Then he was asked about Napoli, and had something very interesting to say. "You'd have to ask [Riccardo] Bigon. It's too early [to know any plans], but we will say that Ciro is a Neapolitan and a Napoli fan. We'll make certain assessments and proceed calmly."
It'd be tough to pass up having a local lad and fan of the club in the side if the opportunity is presented, and getting a player of Immobile's talent would be even better. Even with his struggles this season, Immobile offers a whole lot of positive attributes to the right team, and there's little reason to think Napoli couldn't be that team.
As for a potential cost, that's hard to get a read on offhand. Dortmund spent some €19 million to get Immobile, and you'd have to imagine that, even with the struggles of player and club this season, they'd want to recoup as much of that as possible. If they could get at least, say, €14-15 million for him, they'd probably be relatively happy, and that feels like a very good price for Napoli to get a player of Immobile's caliber, especially in the current market.
Obviously we're a long, long ways from any potential deal being done, but just knowing that there's a chance of bringing Immobile home feels pretty good.