The lid already got pulled off this one when Aurelio De Laurentiis decided to brag a bit on Saturday, but now it's almost official: Napoli and Empoli have agreed to terms on a transfer of Lorenzo Tonelli, and the defender is scheduled for a medical on Tuesday morning before finalizing the move.
The move is expected to cost Napoli just under €9.5 million up front, with another €2 million in potential bonuses. Tonelli, 26, should pass the medical with flying colors -- he's had a few minor injury issues in his career, but nothing that should cause long-term issues or that is even terribly unusual for a defender to pick up over the years.
Tonelli should help bring some stability to what looks like a very uncertain unit heading into the Champions League. Kalidou Koulibaly is a star that Napoli should be able to count on for years to come, but he's also going to be a hot player in the transfer market, even if Napoli get him to sign the contract extension they want. Raul Albiol is being heavily linked with a move back home to Spain, and Vlad Chiriches may or may not stick around either.
With so much uncertainty around the position right now, getting a dependable player like Tonelli is a big move for Napoli to get out of the way so early. He's not a star, but as far as security blankets go, you can do a lot worse. Just look at Miguel Britos.