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Outbound road: Exit talk starting to dominate Napoli rumors

With Napoli active bringing players into the squad, some are going to have to leave soon to make room.

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Napoli have signed several players so far this summer, and by the sound of things they have their eyes on a few more. There's just one problem with that, though: now they might actually have too many players.

See, when you already have a fairly full squad and you add more players to it, then you have a too-full squad. More defenders than you can rotate, more strikers than you can sub in, too many midfielders to swap through. There's only so many minutes to go around, and eventually someone's going to be unhappy unless room is made.

There's also a financial angle to consider -- it's one thing for money to go out, but eventually it has to come back in, too. Especially in a world where Financial Fair Play is a thing, you've got to start bringing the books towards a balance at some point, and player sales are an easy way to do that.

So with those fiscal and spacial realities in hand, it makes sense that most of the transfer rumors involving Napoli the last few days have been about players leaving the club, not players arriving. Let's touch on some of those:

  • Gokhan Inler was apparently subject to a €4.5 million bid from Leicester City in England, but that deal looks dead after Inler reportedly rejected that deal. That's the second English team he's turned down, after he put the Allan deal at risk by rejecting a swap with Watford. There's still some talk of a move to Turkey, either to Besiktas or Galatasaray, but rumors in that area have largely cooled over the last week.
  • In perhaps the most predictable move of the summer, Camilo Zuniga is done at Napoli. The only question now is who takes him on -- the club is believed to be in talks with Fiorentina to send him there, but they seem to be moving slowly. Tottenham Hotspur, who just sold Vlad Chiriches to Napoli, are believed to be interested, and there's been some talk of German suitors, but that seems like paper talk right now. Unless he's willing to take a steep wage cut, Zuniga might have to move to an Arab club.
  • Speaking of which, he could be joining a familiar face in the Middle East, as Eduardo Vargas has offers in hand from Al-Arabi and Al-Rayyan that would see Napoli pocket a rumored €10 million, but he's slowed his side of those negotiations after Marco Bielsa and Olympique Marseille opened negotiations, as he would rather stay in Europe if he can.
  • There was rather silly talk early Saturday that Napoli and Inter Milan could be set to make a straight swap of defender Juan Jesus and Jose Callejon. Yes, you read that right -- no giant pile of money headed Napoli's way, a straight swap of a junk defender for a good attacker. Naturally, that was just hideously poorly made-up paper talk, and Callejon's agent laughed it off when asked about the "negotiations," saying bluntly that his client was not going to join Inter.
  • Two exits that are actually likely, however, are Jonathan De Guzman and Henrique. Both have had a few chances to play for Maurizio Sarri in friendlies now, and apparently the Italian is not impressed. Shocking, that. Where De Guzman goes is a mystery, but he's only just been put on the market, so that could clarify soon. Henrique has a suitor back on in Brazil with São Paulo who he'd gladly join, but the once-giants of Brazilian football are too broke to pay the €3 million fee Napoli want.

While Napoli might not be able to get a ton of cash out of these sales -- outside of unlikely-to-be-sold Callejon, the most valuable piece listed here is Vargas, and the rest of the sales combined probably won't out-earn his by much -- they would get squad space to work with. Right now, they need that as much as they need the cash, and it would allow them to kick the aggression back up in the transfer market again. It would be sad to see some of these guys go, but it would be better for their careers to go somewhere they can play than to rot at the end of Napoli's bench. Hopefully the end result works out well for everyone involved -- that's the best we can wish for right now.