Napoli have a number of players they're looking to unload from the squad, and if reports are correct, they could both find themselves singing on Spanish shores before too long. According to preeminent rumor monger Gianluca Di Marzio, both Eduardo Vargas and Henrique are being considered by La Liga outfit Villarreal, and a deal might develop fairly quickly.
Villarreal are looking to strengthen their squad ahead of a Europa League campaign and what they're hoping is a push closer to the top four in La Liga this year. They finished sixth last season, but were a whopping 16 points shit of fifth and 17 from fourth. In fact, they were closer to the bottom half of the table than the top four, with just an 11 point cushion on 11th place Rayo.
According to Di Marzio, Napoli are looking for roughly €7.5 million for Vargas -- either straight up, or partially paid up front with a mandatory option to buy for the rest of the fee next summer -- along with Napoli getting a percentage of whatever transfer fee Villarreal get for him in the future. A fee for Henrique isn't mentioned in the report, but recent reports linking him to French club Bordeaux have Napoli's request around €3 million for him. Villarreal are supposedly balking at the cost, but negotiations are serious enough that both players' agents were summoned to Napoli's training ground at Castel Volturno to meet and discuss terms of potential deals.
Both players would definitely be of use for Villarreal, especially Vargas given their awfully thin front line after summer departures. They've lost four key players in attack, including Luciano Vietto and Giovani dos Santos, and have struggled to find adequate replacements so far. Villarreal are expected to bring in Roberto Soldado to help bolster their attack, but Villarreal need more than just him, with Leo Baptisao lacking experience and Jonathan Pereira never really convincing in Spain's top division.
It may surprise Napoli fans to hear this, but Henriqe would be valuable for the Yellow Submarine as well (yes, that's their actual nickname). Their best center back, Mateo Musacchio, is working his way back from a bad leg fracture, leaving them with one experienced and relatively quality central defender in newcomer Victor Ruiz. Otherwise, they have a few younger defenders of varying degrees of promise, but no certainty. Henrique's experience would be an asset for them, and his style would likely fit better in Spain than it does in Italy.
Villarreal have been connected to both players before, to Vargas a year ago when Napoli were looking for a new loan for him, and to Henrique back when Napoli bought him 18 months ago. Given their needs, it makes sense for them to look at players they already knew they wanted before, and even if they're hesitant to pull the trigger, the fees are fairly reasonable, especially considering all the cash they've brought in this summer with transfers heading out.
Don't be surprised if this deal moves very quickly. The needs make sense, fits make sense, and the fees make sense. Of course, with that much sense, the deal's probably more likely to blow up, because how dare logic get involved in football, right?