We learned a couple days ago that Napoli were trying to spoil the pursuit of both AC Milan and Inter Milan as they chased after a transfer of Giannelli Imbula, Olympique Marseille's talented midfielder who drew rave reviews this past season. Based on new reports, they may have done just that, after Inter pulled out of negotiations in the wake of splashing major cash on Geoffrey Kondogbia.
That leaves Napoli in pole position to sign Imbula, with Milan considered a distant chaser in the race at this point while they focus on a deal for Axel Witsel. Inter had been posturing as though they wanted both Kondogbia and Imbula, but it seemed fairly obvious as soon as the monstrous fee for the former Monaco midfielder was revealed that their pursuit of Imbula would be ending shortly.
Now it has, leaving Napoli in the best place to sign Imbula. Inter had reportedly been working on a transfer arrangement worth some €19 million, thus further helping Napoli by setting the price for them. With Udinese raising the price tag on Allan in the last week, Imbula becomes an option that's cheaper, younger, and with greater upside all at the same time.
Obviously, things are still far from a done deal, but this suddenly looks like it has some promise. Imbula's box-to-box energy and quality would be a big boon in Maurizio Sarri's midfield, and getting a young player with his talents and upside is never a bad thing. Hopefully Napoli can seal the transfer and get him in house soon, because this deal is almost too good to be true.