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Duvan Zapata wants out, but could help Napoli buy a fullback with Darmian and Vrsaljko interest building

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Napoli's big Colombian striker wants to play more, and wants to go elsewhere to do it. He might just be helpful in getting Napoli another player that they need on his way out, though.

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To the surprised of approximately no one, Duvan Zapata doesn't particularly want to be at Napoli any more. How such a thing could happen is a mystery. Except, y'know, for the whole "he was barely played for the last two years despite playing well when he actually was give a chance" thing. Thanks for that, Rafa.

Now, though, Zapata's agent is saying for the whole world to hear that his client wants out. "For us, the time has come to leave Napoli," he said in a recent interview. So, yeah, not much ambiguity there.

Fortunately for Napoli, he can still give them one big helping hand on his way out the door. The two clubs that seem most interested in Zapata, Torino and Sassuolo, both happen to have something that Napoli really needs: a good, young-ish right back.

Torino have been the most interested club in Zapata for awhile now, with early efforts to get the big Colombian going as far back as last year. Their front line is talented but old, with both Fabio Quagliarella and Maxi Lopez standing decidedly on the wrong side of 30, and they could use a physical striker with younger blood to add to the mix.

They also have a certain Matteo Darmian at right back, the Italian international widely linked with a move away from the granata this summer. Torino want a lot of money for him and that's mostly kept Napoli's well-known desire for Darmian at bay, but Zapata could be used in a swap deal to lower that fee somewhat to make it more palatable for Napoli to pull the trigger on, or as a separate deal that leaves Darmian's fee the same as Torino wants, but effectively lowering it since money is going both ways.

Then there's Sassuolo, who are almost certainly losing both Simone Zaza and Domenico Berardi and will need to replenish their striker depth. Zapata is a player they apparently quite like to replace Zaza, which makes sense: they're both physical but technically sound players, so there'd be less of an adaptation to get Zapata bedded in to the side.

Sassuolo's young right back Šime Vrsaljko* also seems to be angling for a move away, and according to his agent, the 23 year old Croatian international would be thrilled by a move to Napoli, likely in part thanks to the presence of international teammate Ivan Strinic at left back. He's a well-rounded fullback who attacks well and defends better, and he's grown significantly as a player over the last two years in Italy with Sassuolo and Genoa.

*ed. note: On a personal level, as much as I like Vrsaljko as a player, I hope Napoli don't get him simply so I don't have to type his name on a regular basis

A potential fee for Vrsaljko likely wouldn't be huge, and could be further reduced by including Zapata in some form, similar to how he could be used in a deal for Darmian. Vrsaljko wouldn't be as "sexy" of a player to get like Darmian is, but he's actually not that far behind his Italian counterpart in skill, should be much cheaper, and is two years younger to boot. The only thing Darmian clearly has over him is that he's extremely versatile, capable of playing up and down both flanks without losing much of anything. Vrsaljko is limited to the right side of the pitch, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for a fullback, but that extra utility Darmain provides is definitely helpful.

It would be very unfortunate to see Zapata leave Napoli, but it's also perfectly understandable considering what Rafa Benitez put him through the last two years. If he can bag Napoli a nice transfer fee or help them get a good player in to the squad in a position of dire need on his way out, well, then we'll remember him all the more fondly for it.