So much for a dead deal: Olympique Marseille have apparently renewed their pursuit of Napoli midfielder Jonathan De Guzman, so strongly in fact that the deal could be completed as soon as Wednesday.
There was speculation of a deal in the works last week, and chances of De Guzman moving to Marseille seemed very high after it was made apparent that manager Marcelo Bielsa had plans for the Dutch-Canadian midfielder. Then Bielsa resigned on Saturday after Marseille's first match, and it seemed as though any chance of De Guzman moving to France had become dust in the wind.
Not so fast, apparently. Marseille continued their efforts to sign De Guzman, and now reports in both France and Italy, including word from De Guzman's agent, all indicate that a deal is more or less imminent. Despite speculation that Marseille would prefer a loan for cost-saving reasons, it's being reported that the deal will be a permanent one, with De Guzman expected to sign a four- or five-year deal with the Ligue 1 side.
It's not clear how much Napoli stand to pocket from the transfer -- De Guzman's agent said that Napoli would lose "several million" from the fee they paid Villarreal for him a year ago, which was reported to be €6 million. That leaves an assumed figure of around €3 million that Marseille would be paying, which isn't much but is also unsurprising after the poor season De Guzman had in Naples.
No matter what the fee is, getting De Guzman out of Naples on a permanent transfer is probably the best move. It's clear he's not in Maurizio Sarri's plans, and after his awful season the fanbase don't really want him around either. Hopefully he can reboot his career in France, and Napoli use that fee to help actually improve the team.