Napoli are closing in on finishing their first signing of the summer, but they’re also working hard on the second as well, with reports in Italy indicating that the partenopei are closing in on a deal with AS Roma to sign left back Mario Rui.
According to reports over the course of the last week, Napoli have had two bids rejected for the Portuguese fullback, but with Rui and his agent publicly positioning him for a move to Napoli and nowhere else, Roma’s bargaining position isn’t as strong as it could be otherwise. Napoli’s latest bid of €9 million plus another €1 million in bonuses was deemed insufficient by Roma, but it’s believed that a very minor increase in value — to €9.5 million up front plus €2 million in potential bonuses — would get the job done.
Rui isn’t an exciting player by any means, but the 26 year old is a solid, workmanlike presence on the left flank who supports his team well at both ends of the pitch. He would ideally serve Napoli as a reserve, but one who can step into the first team with minimal dropoff.
The transfer fee is one that’s not exciting to see considering he cost Roma less than that a year ago, before a pre-season knee injury and Luciano Spalletti being even pickier about who he plays than Maurizio Sarri cost Rui much of his season. But with a transfer market spinning wildly out of control this summer, it’s not an unreasonable fee to pay, especially for a player that Sarri knows well and can integrate into the side quickly — especially since his skillset actually matches the team much better than one Mirko Valdifiori, the last older ex-Empoli player Napoli signed. Hopefully, Rui works out more like Elseid Hysaj than the midfielder currently spinning his wheels with Torino.
Of course, Rui still has to sign before such a determination can be made, and as of right now we don’t quite have an idea of when pen will be put to paper. It does look like a deal will happen, though, and likely sooner rather than later. Hopefully this doesn’t drag on too long, because Napoli need to get their summer transfers over with quickly so they can get on with their season preparations.