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Napoli pushing for Gabiel loan from AC Milan

New Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli is trying to turn to a familiar face to get Napoli the backup to Pepe Reina they need.

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Napoli have something of a conundrum in goal. They've got a clear option to start in Pepe Reina, but who backs him up is unclear.

Luigi Sepe looks set for a loan. Rafael Cabral is probably going back to Brazil, either sold or loaned. Mariano Andujar isn't good enough to rely on. Roberto Colombo is just too old to rely on. Nikkita Contini is too young and not ready for Serie A yet.

That leaves a gap that needs to be filled, and for that new sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli is turning to a player he's acquired before: AC Milan goalkeeper Gabriel.

The 22 year old Brazilian was a star at Giuntoli's old club, newly promoted Serie A side Carpi, last season in Italy's second division. He played 39 matches on loan for them last season and gave up just 23 goals, keeping a stunning 23 clean sheets along the way. Gabriel possesses excellent instincts and athleticism, and looks to have a bright future lined up for himself. He's not quite ready to be a full-time starter for Milan just yet, though, so they're looking for another loan for him for the upcoming season.

Why they'd choose Napoli is a bit odd, though. Napoli were reported to have made a couple soft approaches to purchase Gabriel earlier this month, but backed off when Milan asked for €10 million for him, so they know Napoli would rather keep Gabriel than just have him for a year if they can. Add that to the fact that he'd just be a backup, and it's strange to think Milan would go for this when Carpi and a few other teams lower in the table who would start Gabriel are all interested in loaning him.

Still, if Milan are willing to be a little crazy, then Napoli can happily get a good backup goalkeeper for the season out of it. That's perfectly acceptable.