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Napoli linked with Manchester United defender

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Manchester United have a crowd at right back, and Napoli might be trying to relieve them of some of that excess baggage.

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Nothing has really gone right for Napoli in their search for a new right back. Sime Vrsalko's team just won't budge on their transfer valuation for him, Elseid Hysaj's team doesn't seem to want to even consider selling him, and Matteo Darmian got sold for more money to a bigger club. That last setback could ultimately help Napoli, though, because Darmian's new club, Manchester United, now have too many right backs.

The odd man out at Old Trafford appears to be Rafael da Silva, and guess what, Napoli are interested. The 25 year old Brazilian was once a highly-valued prospect, but drifted in and out of favor with Manchester United over the last few years and finally one his way out of the storied English club after the tough eye of Louis Van Gaal found him lacking, and he was left out of the club's US tour.

The trouble with Rafael is that, while he's an excellent attacking element from right back, his defense is ... rough. It's not hopeless, but he's often prone to getting caught high up the pitch or simply suffering breakdowns in marking. The hope is that if Napoli buy Rafael, Maurizio Sarri and his intense coaching work ethic can help get the right back to where he needs to be. At 25 years old, there's certainly hope, but it'll take work.

Signing Rafael may not be as sexy as signing a Darmian, but in theory it would be much cheaper -- while a price hasn't been mooted, Rafael has just a year left on his contract and is clearly out of Van Gaal's plans, so it'd be hard to see United getting much for him. Rafael has got talent, the question is whether or not Napoli can finally get him fully utilizing it. It'd be a high-risk signing, but also one with a high potential for reward if things go right.