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Napoli vying with Roma for Suso?

Reports in Spain suggest Napoli may have already lodged a bid for the AC Milan attacker.

AC Milan v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Despite how incredible Napoli’s attack was this past season, they still need to improve their depth in the final third, especially if Dries Mertens is moving to striker full-time. To that end, Napoli are apparently turning in an unexpected direction in their bid to get better — AC Milan attacker Suso.

The former Liverpool academy product and Spanish youth international is believed to be on the market with Milan making significant changes to their squad, especially in attack. That means that despite being one of their best players last season, Suso has become expendable to the club’s new ownership in an effort to balance the books, putting a solid player on the market for teams like Napoli to try to scoop up.

Now, despite the €30 million price tag being thrown on Suso — that’s a result of an incredibly wild summer transfer market this year rather than the result of his real value compared to past markets — Suso likely wouldn’t be an every-match starter for Napoli. Instead, he would be a direct reserve for Jose Callejon on the right side of the attack, as well as someone who can ably slot in on the left if needed, as well as centrally behind the striker should Maurizio Sarri decide to play with his shape at all.

Suso isn’t a star by any means, but Napoli wouldn’t need him to be. They would need the 23 year old to be a top-notch reserve and someone who can step into the lineup with minimal drop-off, which is exactly in his wheelhouse. It’s not the most obvious signing, but if these rumors pan out, it would be far from a bad thing for Napoli to get Suso wearing blue, even if it looks like he’ll never live up to the once-massive potential he showed at Anfield before a series of disappointing loans dropped his stock significantly.

Now comes the complication that inevitably comes with a rumor. In this case, that complication comes in the form of AS Roma — they want Suso too, and they’re eager to fight Napoli for his signature. The partenopei have, according to Spanish outlet AS, already lodged a €25 million bid for Suso that Milan turned down, but with their asking price not far off at €30 million, this transfer shouldn’t take long to shake loose one way or the other.

But with Napoli being talked about as having already bid on a player that Roma wants, and with the report coming from Spain — the country that Roma’s sporting director, Monchi, just left a few weeks ago after serving in the same role for Sevilla for years — one can’t help but think that one of these teams is being used as leverage against the other. Napoli usually come out on the short end on such scenarios, so don’t hold your breath on this rumor being true just yet — but if it does, know that Napoli would be getting a good player who can help this team a lot.