Urbano Cairo is not a very nice man. The chairman of Torino stonewalled Napoli's efforts to sign Matteo Darmian before Manchester United swooped in, and now he's throwing a ridiculous price tag on Nikola Maksimovic because he has a seriously overblown valuation of the player.
Two weeks ago, he slapped a €25 million price tag on the Serbian defender, to which Napoli rightfully laughed at and simply bumped up their standing offer a little bit. That was the sensible thing to do, because surely Cairo couldn't really mean he wanted that much for Maksimovic, right? It had to be a bargaining ploy. Right?
Well. Maybe not.
Is he close to Napoli? Absolutely not. Actually, you could even say he’s getting further and further away. We got an offer which isn’t enough for the player’s value - €12m plus bonuses.
I’m not saying it’s offensive, because I know and respect the value of money, but it’s not appropriate for the quality of Nikola Maksimovic. I’m sorry for the Neopolitan fans, I’m very sympathetic, but there’s isn’t even a basis to start talks from.
[Alessio] Romangoli moved from Roma to Milan for twice the amount we were offered, and it’s too close to the end of the transfer window anyway.
-Source: Radio RAI, translation via Football Italia
Well, my jaw's on the floor. He really, truly believes that because Romagnoli went for €25 million, then so should Maksimovic. That's so patently ridiculous I'm not really sure where to start, but let's try anyways.
First off, the situations with which to value Maksimovic and Romagnoli are hardly comparable. Romagnoli is arguably the best home-grown Italian defender to come around in years, giving Roma plenty of reason to force Milan to pay a premium on those grounds alone. Add that to the fact that Romagnoli is already quite good, is three years younger than Maksimovic, and looks like he has a notably higher ceiling, and there's absolutely no reason to justify equivalent fees for the two players.
Unless you're just a greedy jerk. Which, Urbano Cairo, so there you go.
Sure, Napoli's offer is probably a little low depending on what those mentioned bonuses are, but come on, you've got common ground to start talks from. Negotiations are a give and take, but Torino have only taken more and more as this process has gone on. It's ridiculous and exhausting and asinine.
Also, "too close to the end of the transfer window?" Come on. Napoli showed with Vlad Chiriches that you can get a deal for a defender done at a good price in a hurry. That took, what, four days from start to finish? Sure, Napoli would have done some scouting and preliminary checking before making a formal bid, but you can't seriously suggest that Torino haven't done the same first-step process on a dozen defenders by now.
Napoli should just walk away and focus on acquiring another center back. This one isn't going to happen. Be nice if it did, but it won't. Good thing those "sure, take him" loans for two years of Omar El Kaddouri that really helped Torino compete at a high level built up so much good will and partnership between the clubs.