Napoli's efforts to land Nikola Maksimovic may have just been handed a permanent burial. The chances have seemed slim at best that the partenopei land their top defensive target, but after a radio interview Torino chairman Urbano Cairo did with Radio Kiss Kiss in Naples, it looks like those chances just went from "remote" to "none."
Most of the quotes aren't much of anything new -- more denigration of Napoli's bid and player valuations, more overhyping of Maksimovic's skill and quality, declaring him too valuable to sell, blah blah blah. There was one interesting bit, though, saying that "it's too late now" for Napoli to work a deal for the defender, and that "not even a crazy offer can change things."
With the season starting this weekend, that's perhaps an understandable stance to take, even though there's still almost two full weeks left before the transfer window actually closes. Still, most teams prefer to have their squad set before the first opening whistle of the season, and Cairo's often stubborn anyways.
For Napoli, Cairo's interview should serve as an official notice for them to move to their backup plan. Signing Maksimovic would have been nice, but, well, it's not happening. Probably hasn't been going to happen for awhile now. If Napoli still want to buy another center back, they need to identify their top target quickly and move even faster to secure him. Time is running out.