OK, this one is going to take some explaining. New Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli is in London right now to negotiate the transfer of Allan from Udinese. Those negotiations require a trip to England because that's where Udinese chairman Giampaolo Pozzo is, overseeing the restructuring of Watford as they prepare for their first Premier League season under his tenure.
Giuntoli is apparently under orders from Aurelio De Laurentiis to make sure a deal is done, and to that end the new man in charge of transfers is getting pretty creative, involving not just Udinese, but Watford as well. So the rumor goes, Napoli would pay Udinese €11 million and a pair of players as well: Gokhan Inler and Miguel Britos.
"But wait," you say. "Watford want those two, not Udinese." Yep. That's why as part of the rumored deal, Udinese would immediately loan both players to their partner club Watford, likely for one season with an automatic option to buy both Inler and Britos next summer if they stay up -- though it should be noted that the purchase option is purely theory based on the financial realities of Watford's risk of not staying up for a second season.
Now, we literally just talked about how swap deals are often unrealistic and just thrown in to publications to get clicks or sell papers -- but this one actually feels plausible. In Inler and Britos, Napoli have two players who are out of contract in a year, already seem headed for the exit door this summer, and don't really hold a ton of market value -- remember our shock at the size of the offer Watford were rumored to be considering -- and who could do some good with the club that wants them.
Using them in this deal just makes sense for all involved. Napoli would get a player in Allan that they need badly, a box-to-box midfielder who fits the new system brought in by Maurizio Sarri like a glove, and they'd get a few million off the fee they'd pay otherwise. Udinese get some money, which they need to reinforce and retool a squad that struggled badly for long stretches of last season. And Watford would get a pair of players that would be a valuable veteran presence to their midfield and defense -- if maybe not a guy likely to start every match in Britos.
It'll be interesting to see if this plays out as rumored. This kind of deal is complicated and rare, but for once it actually seems like something that can work. It'd probably even be good for Inler and Britos, and despite a willingness to see them go, you don't want to see them leave and suffer. So lets make this happen, shall we?