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Conflicting reports emerge that Torino defender may have asked for Napoli transfer

Napoli may have just been handed a big boost in their pursuit of their top defensive target. Or not. It's hard to say, thanks to the loyalties of the papers involved.

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Napoli have spent much of their summer chasing after Torino's Nikola Maksimovic. In point of fact, the pursuit's gotten to be pretty tiring. Napoli make an offer, Torino raise their asking price. Napoli make another offer, they raise it again.

And so on and so on and so on and so on. It's old and tiring and annoying as hell. Urbano Cairo has long been known as tough to negotiate with, but this has gone past the pale of ridiculousness, with Torino's chairman still demanding a simply ludicrous fee of €25 million for the defender.

Things might soon be coming to a head, though: there are reports, originating with Corriere dello Sport, that Maksimovic has gone to Torino's leadership and asked them to accept a bid from Napoli because he wants to join the partenopei to better grow as a player. If true, this could finally help break the deadlock and get a deal done, much to the delight of Napoli fans.

Of course, that might not be the case: another Italian paper, Tuttosport, is refuting that claim, saying that Maksimovic has not asked to leave. There's not much middle ground here -- either he asked to leave, or he hasn't. That's black-or-white, heads-or-tails.

The papers themselves that are doing the reporting only muddy the waters on the issue. Corriere has long-known ties to Napoli, and are frequently the first major paper with accurate news related to the club. Tuttosport are based in Turin and have a similar relationship with both Torino and Juventus. That means both papers are going to report news in a matter that makes their "preferred" clubs look good, or at least the news leaked to them by the clubs is going to be spun in a positive light.

Normally that's fine, and the spin can be filtered out and avoided with ease, but in a situation like this, where two involved papers are taking diametrically opposed stances, it's tough to know where the truth lies. Normally the answer would be "somewhere in the middle," but again, there is no middle ground on this one. Either Maksimovic asked out, or he didn't. There's no third option.

An already confusing and annoying transfer saga has just gotten all the more confusing and annoying. Hopefully we get some kind of certainty to it soon, but man, as much as it'd be nice to see Napoli buy another defender as talented as Maksimovic, it'd also be nice to see them go after someone else at that talent level.