Napoli have gotten at least one more signing in before the transfer deadline slams shut: after a week of chasing for his signature, Napoli have agreed to terms with Sampdoria to acquire midfielder Roberto Soriano.
The deal is reportedly worth €13.5 million in total, though that sum seems to include performance bonuses that may or may not be reached. The fee due up front hasn't been reported, but is likely in the area of €10 million based on previous reports. The deal gives Napoli a 24 year old midfielder who came through Bayern Munich's youth system before moving back to Italy. He's been with Sampdoria since 2009, and over the last two seasons has shown dramatic improvement in his game, to the point that he made his senior Italian national team debut last spring.
Also involved in the transfer is Camilo Zuniga, who is swapping shirts to join Sampdoria after two frustrating seasons with Napoli. He was officially listed as injured for most of the past two seasons, with knee injuries that never seemed to heal, though he was part of Colombia's national team squads for both the Copa America and World Cup the last two summers. His agent has intimated at times over the past couple of months that his client was actually healthy, and the cause his his exclusion was a result of discord with Rafa Benitez. Frankly, that wouldn't surprise anyone if it was true, but the end result either way was that Napoli had little to no leverage with which to get a healthy transfer fee for Zuniga, especially as he was on high wages.
The key for Napoli, though, is that Soriano provides them with something they've been searching for for years: a backup for Marek Hamsik. Last season they thought they'd found one with Michu, but he was terrible and then hurt his ankle again, so that didn't work out. Now with Hamsik in a slightly deeper role in midfield, their lack of an option to fill in for him if needed was even more apparent, but Soriano fits that need like a glove.
Napoli had been dueling with AC Milan in their attempt to land Soriano, but the rossonero pulled out of negotiations earlier Monday, presumably after Napoli included Zuniga in their offer. Napoli were probably also encouraged to finalize the signing after Soriano played very well against them on Sunday, including a lovely assist for Sampdoria's equalizer in the 2-2 draw.
Now that this is sorted, go sign a center back, Napoli. Please.