One of the unfortunate realities of modern football is that you can't always keep all your good players, especially when you have a hard time finding playing time for all of them. That's potentially the case with Manolo Gabbiadini, who has been a frequent mention in transfer rumors for the last month, with links to moves all over Europe. So far, though, only a couple of concrete offers have come in -- a loan-to-buy offer from Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, and a straight transfer for a high fee from Swansea City.
While most rumor mongers have been assuming that Gabbiadini would bolt at the first sign of a new home, the reality is quite different -- according to reports, he rejected both moves before Napoli had a chance to say no.
While it was believed that Napoli might be willing to sell Gabbiadini for a big fee -- rumored to be north of €20 million, a tidy profit on the €13 million that they spent to acquire him a year ago -- in order to finance another winter transfer, his agent, Silvio Pagliari, on Wednesday said that Napoli have told teams that Gabbiadini is not for sale, despite numerous offers and approaches of interest from Italy and abroad.
It's an interesting development, considering Napoli's weaker-than-usual finances -- losing money for the first time in almost a decade last season -- and the certainty that Gabbiadini both certainly wants and deserves more playing time than he's gotten this season. For a player who's really only on the fringes of the Italian national team, this is a crucial time for him to be playing as much and as well as possible, but not even 500 minutes played across all competitions so far this season, including just 192 minutes in league action, is not going to convince Antonio Conte to call him in for Euro 2016.
Napoli could make a bunch of money on a player who's not being used much, and that player could dramatically improve his chances of making the Italy squad this summer. And yet, both parties seem content to leave things as they are. That's a pretty big sign of trust, and hopefully Gabbiadini and Napoli both come out with no regrets.