We all know by now that Napoli are focused on helping out their midfield in the transfer market. They've been linked to higher-profile names like Christoph Kramer and Hector Herrera for an immediate-impact acquisition, but perhaps more intriguing is a longer-term play for the partenopei, which has taken the form of the reportedly agreed €10 million transfer of Atalanta midfielder Alberto Grassi.
The offer comes after several weeks of rumors, and also comes at the expense of Fiorentina. Napoli's bid -- for €8 million up front and €2 million in bonuses -- apparently trumps one made by the Viola recently. It's a pricey bid for a young and inexperienced midfielder, but his upside is significant enough to make it a gamble worth taking.
Grassi, 20, made his senior debut last season, but only played very limited minutes for Atalanta in Serie A. This season has been a different story, starting 13 matches and playing a vital role in their campaign. His season has been a bit up-and-down, as you'd expect from a 20 year old, but he's had several impressive matches for Atalanta this season, including being their one notably good performer in the middle of the pitch when Napoli beat them in December.
According to reports, Grassi is due to arrive in Naples on Friday to undergo his medical and sign his contract. The details of that contract haven't yet been disclosed -- read: leaked -- but it's likely to be a long-term deal that's financially inexpensive for Napoli, but a step up from what Grassi was making at Atalanta.
In fact, the Italy U-21 international might not be the only Atalanta youngster moving to Napoli -- according to additional reports, Cristiano Giuntoli may have also secured a purchase option for next summer on Marco Sportiello, Atalanta's talented and sought-after 23 year old goalkeeper who has impressed many over the last two years. The exact nature of that option is unknown -- generally it's either a pre-agreed fee or a right of first refusal on other bids for the player -- but getting such an option as part of their acquisition of Grassi could wind up being quite a coup for Napoli.