Napoli's first signing of the summer was done weeks ago, but their first truly big signing of the summer could be close. According to multiple reports in Italy, Axel Witsel has agreed terms to a move to Napoli, and the partenopei have either already agreed to a deal with Zenit St Petersburg worth €25 million including bonuses, or are just settling a few last details before an agreement is finalized.
If those reports are true -- and this summer, "if" is an important word -- then it sounds as though Witsel's on-again-off-again transfer journey with Napoli this summer could be finished this week. It hasn't been a smooth ride by any means, as Witsel was essentially Napoli's backup plan to Hector Herrera and Piotr Zielinski, and he was being chased by Everton at the same time. It appeared last week as though Witsel was set to join the English club, but Everton pulled out of the deal after running into roadblocks in their dealings with Zenit, while Napoli rejoined the fray over the weekend and now seem to have sealed the deal.
While the arrival of Witsel means that Napoli likely won't be landing the aforementioned Herrera or Zielinski, he's still an excellent, if expensive, signing for the club. He brings a power game that Napoli lack, and that will make them match up better against teams that play with more strength-based approaches, something they've struggled against in recent years. The downside, though, is that he tends to run a little hot-and-cold in his form, and when he's not "on" Witsel tends to be very error-prone.
Despite that drawback, this is still a very excellent and very aggressive signing for Napoli. Witsel brings them an element to their midfield that they lack, helps improve depth by offering a fourth legitimate starting option, and displays Napoli's willingness to spend big this transfer window, both in fee and wages as Napoli are believed to be giving him a little over €3 million per season. If this is a sign of things to come later in the summer, then it's a good sign indeed for the partenopei faithful.