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Napoli and Jose Callejon deny report of transfer deal with Atletico Madrid

The Napoli winger has been linked strongly with Atletico Madrid for almost a year now, but both club and player have hotly denied an earlier report that a deal is done.

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Well this is annoying: earlier today, reports from Spain indicated that Atletico Madrid had come to an agreement with Napoli and Jose Callejon that would see the Spanish winger move to Madrid this summer.

The report, which originated in a radio show from Spanish media outlet Cadena Ser, caused a big stir. Sure, Callejon has been out of form lately, but when he's on, he's very good. That was evidenced by his body of work last season, as well as his blistering start to this season's campaign. Losing him, especially in a summer that's likely to see a fair bit of turnover anyways, would be a big blow to the club's attacking quality and depth.

Fortunately, it looks like the report is utter rubbish. The club quickly put out a very strongly-worded statement denying any possibility that the report was true:

In regards to the news released today by Spanish radio outlet "Cadena Ser" of alleged statements attributed to Jose Callejon, which were taken up by other media outlets, Napoli announces that this news is without foundation.

The same Callejon, when he became aware of the alleged statement, has categorically denied the words attributed to him, and expresses dismay at how someone can invent similar news.

-Source: Napoli official website

This is, sadly, far from the first time that a media outlet has done something like this to draw attention. Several Spanish papers in particular are well-known for making up transfer rumors out of whole cloth, and some have even been accused of working with agents to drum up pressure for a contract extension for their client.

It does seem far from certain currently that Callejon would stay, but it also always seemed a little strange that he would go to Atletico Madrid. Callejon has career-long ties to Atleti's bitter rivals Real Madrid and doesn't seem like the kind to upset that kind of boat, not to mention that Atleti fans probably wouldn't warm up to him very quickly. We don't need to worry about that for awhile yet, though, but for a little while this morning we had to worry and go "what if." Thanks for nothing, Cadena Ser.