Napoli's training session at Dimaro on Monday was notable not so much for what happened on the pitch, but for two absences: Miguel Britos and Duvan Zapata. The two players being sent to Udinese as a part-exchange in the deal to land Allan were both held out of practice, signalling the impending end of a long, frustrating transfer saga.
Keeping players out of practice when an impending transfer involving them is nearing the finish line is a pretty standard practice -- after all, you don't want some freak injury ruining the whole thing at the last minute. It's also a pretty big sign that the deal will be completed in the next day or so, further supported by rumors of Allan being somewhere near Dimaro just waiting for the go-ahead to join Napoli's training retreat and take his medical.
Zapata will be joining Udinese on loan for the next two seasons, partnering with the venerable Antonio Di Natale in the zebrette attack and hoping to fully realize his significant potential as a striker. It's a great opportunity for the big Colombian, so hopefully he grasps it with both hands and runs with the chance.
Britos will only be an Udinese player for moments before heading off to to England to join Watford FC on loan. The Hornets have just been promoted to the Premier League for the first time since the Pozzo family bought them and brought them under their umbrella of clubs that includes Udinese and Spain's Granada. Britos will be hoping to help keep Watford up -- that uncertainty is part of why this move is just a loan for now -- and to do so he'll be joining forces with another familiar face: midfielder Valon Behrami, who signed for Watford last week.
Really, the best part about this deal getting wrapped up will be being able to stop writing about it coming down to the wire. That's going to be awesome.