So apparently this one is real then: Vlad Chiriches is in Italy to have a medical ahead of signing with Napoli, a deal that could be finalized later in the day.
The transfer, reported to be for €6 million, developed very quickly over the last two days. On Sunday, there wasn't even much of a hint of Napoli interest -- indeed, it looked like he was set to join Fiorentina on a one year loan with an option to buy. Then, after the Davide Astori transfer went "poof" Sunday night -- thanks in part to Fiorentina trying to hijack the deal -- all talk of Chiriches suddenly turned into his own deal being in doubt, and shortly thereafter we found out Napoli had made a "compelling offer" to Tottenham for the center back.
At first it looked like perhaps a case of Aurelio De Laurentiis screwing a rival who just screwed him, but if Chiriches is in town for a medical, then it's rather more serious than that. And while there are concerns to be had about signing the Romanian international -- his lowlight reel at Tottenham is not short -- signing him for the same fee originally meant for Astori and on reasonable wages, Napoli have mitigated their risk from a financial angle.
On the pitch could be a slightly different concern, though. As long as they can find ways to smooth over Chiriches' technical and tactical flaws and emphasize his athletic strengths, though, and they could have themselves one heck of a player. Fortunately, Maurizio Sarri is known for playing his guys to their strengths and keeping their weaknesses as minimized as possible, so that might just work out for them.
In any event, this is a fascinating transfer, both for how fast it came together and for the screw-your-neighbor aspect of it. It's also a promising one for Napoli -- despite all the lumps Chiriches has taken the last two years, there's still quite a talent in there somewhere. If they can unlock that, €6 million could wind up as a steal.