That Napoli want to be busy in this months' transfer market is no secret -- the team's owner has said so repeatedly, promising fans that they'll be very satisfied with what the club does in the market. One of the spots they're looking at is in midfield, where another dependable player has been needed all season -- to that end, two intriguing names have cropped up in recent reports: FC Porto star Héctor Herrera, and Bayer Leverkusen stalwart Christoph Kramer.
Both are players that Napoli have been linked with on and off for two years or so, and both fit the kind of profile Napoli are looking for very well. Both Herrera and Kramer are entering their prime years and are already well established as quality players with room to improve even further, making them the exact match for what Aurelio De Laurentiis saying he was looking for in signing "top" players for his Napoli side. Both players also fill a needed role in the team, both capable of playing box-to-box or more advanced attacking roles, with Herrera especially looking capable in the latter category.
The problem could be with cost. Napoli have reportedly offered both Porto and Leverkusen €16 million for their respective players. Leverkusen are said to be willing to accept something closer to €20 million, but would prefer to sell him in the summer if they do decide to part with Kramer, an up-and-coming midfielder who started for Germany in the World Cup final two summers ago. Porto are willing to sell Mexico international star Herrera now, but would want more like €25 million for him, which is quite a lot of money for the midfielder -- though Napoli are believed to have "intensified" their negotiations for him in the last day or so.
Right now, signing either player -- and make no mistake, Napoli would only sign one despite their interest in both -- would be a huge boon for Napoli's midfield, but it seems like getting either is a bit of a long shot right now. Still, it's exciting to think about the midfield combinations Maurizio Sarri would have to play with should Herrera or Kramer sign, especially if Herrera comes in and could periodically spell Marek Hamsik as the most attack-minded midfielder in Napoli's central trio.
It seems like either signing is still a ways off from completion, if they even happen at all. In the meantime, though, we'll keep you updated -- and will keep our fingers crossed.