So much for that hope: despite reports that Napoli were hot on the trail for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Christoph Kramer, the German international's agent has dismissed any such idea, saying that he's had no contact with the club and that his client isn't interested anyways.
"There haven't been any negotiations since the days of [Rafa] Benitez," Kramer's agent told German media. "[He] doesn't want to go to Napoli." With that coupled with a report that Leverkusen's manager has ruled out any January departures, it seems that Napoli's rumored pursuit of Kramer is dead in the water.
Thursday's reports of no deal even remotely close to completion -- or realistically being a thing at all -- contradict reports from Wednesday that Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli was due to fly out to Germany to meet with his opposite number at Leverkusen to finalize a deal. Those same reports also indicated that Kramer had agreed personal terms with the partenopei, something that would be difficult to do if he hadn't heard from Napoli in a year or more. That's mercato madness for you.
It's something of a shame that Napoli are missing out on Kramer, as the 24 year old is wonderfully talented with a bright future ahead of him. Still, of the two midfielders Napoli have been linked with -- the other being Porto and Mexico international midfielder Hector Herrera -- Kramer is the worse fit for Napoli's current needs, being a far less natural fit in Marek Hamsik's more attacking midfield role to serve partly as a backup for Napoli's captain. Herrera is more capable playing in that sort of role, and while signing him seems to be a long shot as well, bringing him in makes far more sense than Kramer.