Early in the summer when it looked like Napoli were going to hire Sinisa Mihajlovic as their new manager to replace Rafa Benitez, it seemed like half the Sampdoria roster was being linked to a move to Naples. It was pretty standard stuff really -- when a manager changes teams, especially within the same league, there's always a ton of rumors linking his old players to his new team. A couple of them even pan out most times, so it's easy to see why the links are made.
One Sampdoria player Napoli were linked particularly strongly with, though, was Roberto Soriano. The creative midfielder enjoyed a strong performance last season, earning his first Italy cap and looking like he could break out in a big way if his performances continued to improve as they were. Once Napoli hired Maurizio Sarri, though, those rumors dried up in a hurry, and it's been quite some time since we heard anything about the 24 year old joining the squad.
That all changed, though, when whispers started to emerge and grow louder last week that Soriano wants to leave Sampdoria and move on to bigger and better things. It didn't take long for Napoli to be linked again, and those links quickly grew louder once it was revealed that there is a €10 million release clause in Soriano's contract.
Napoli aren't alone in their pursuit -- AC Milan, the new home of Mihajlovic, are also interested in bringing in the former Bayern Munich youth player, with their Serbian manager eager to reunite with the midfielder who blossomed under his care over the last 18 months. Both teams could make good use of Soriano and both make a fair bit of sense for him, so it's hard to say where he'll end up. Napoli need a backup for Marek Hamsik in a bad way with Jonathan De Guzman failing to make the grade, and Milan simply need warm bodies in midfield as long as they have half a creative bone in their body.
Milan are being characterized as "closing" on Soriano, having been allowed to open talks on a contract with the player, but Napoli are likely not far behind. Don't be shocked if Milan land him -- their desperation will likely lead them to offer him more money in wages -- but it's well worth keeping an eye out to see if Napoli can snag the talented midfielder. Soriano would be well worth getting into the side if they can manage it, and he could be a player the club comes to rely on for a long time if things break right. They just have to sign him first.