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Mercato Madness: Mirko Valdifiori deal expected next week, but his agent seems cautious

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Reports indicate that an agreement between Napoli and Empoli for the Italian international midfielder is close, but his agent has reservations about a deal as things stand.

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The transfer window is still months away, but Napoli may be close to making their first signing.

The partenopei were recently linked to Empoli midfielder Mirko Valdifiori, the 28 year old who has spent most of his career in Serie B. Valdifiori has drawn significant praise in his first Serie A season, and was rewarded with his first international cap for Italy on Tuesday when he started against England.

Those reviews drew the interest of Napoli over the last few months, and now it sounds as though Napoli and Empoli are drawing close to coming to terms on a transfer. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the clubs are only about €1 million apart from an agreement, with €6 million being the midpoint between the two sides' current positions. Even with how well-liked Valdifiori has been this season, that seems like an awful lot of money for a midfielder who, on the balance, probably isn't as good as Jorginho.

Still, Napoli are expected to overhaul their midfield this summer whether or not the club reach the Champions League, and Valdifiori could be a decent part of that if push comes to shove. But by what his agent is saying, it might take quite a push.

It seems as though Valdifiori might not be the biggest fan of Rafa Benitez. "If Benitez stays, I really don't think that Mirko will wear the Napoli colours," Mario Giuffredi told Radio Kiss Kiss recently when asked about Napoli's interest in his client. He also spoke of believing that Napoli's interest is keyed on Rafa leaving the club; interestingly, he said he'd know more after April 16th, a date that meshes well with the timeline set by previous statements from Rafa Benitez about when we would find out about his future.