It’s been a long summer, and while Napoli have been successful on the field of late, they’ve been frustrating fans off it. A combination of not having the Champions League group stage guaranteed until this week and having lots of deadweight eating up wage space has left them with very little room to work with on the transfer market.
Thanks to Sampdoria, though, some of that deadweight may be about to leave the club, with them reported close to signing Lorenzo Tonelli and deep in negotiations for Duvan Zapata.
Tonelli was a big bust for Napoli last season, brought in early in the summer for €10 million. That didn’t seen like a bad thing for a now-27 year old defender with a solid track record and experience with manager Maurizio Sarri, but several injuries slowed down his ability to integrate into the team, which was put on further display in his generally lackluster performances.
Terms of the deal haven’t been leaked yet, but according to Radio Kiss Kiss a deal is very close. With Sampdoria needing defenders and Tonelli spending much of the summer grumbling about playing time, it’s a fit that makes sense.
Then there’s Zapata, who has clearly never been in the plans or interest of Sarri at Napoli, and spent the last two years on loan at Udinese. The zebrette wanted to keep the big Colombian, but didn’t want to pay the fee Napoli demanded for him. Torino came calling for him as well but had the same issue. Sampdoria, though, may be willing to meet the €20 million fee that Napoli want for Zapata, especially if they manage to sell Patrick Schick like they’ve been trying to do all summer.
Hopefully both of these transfers come to pass, because not only would it be good for Napoli to have money instead of the players at this point, it would also be good for both players. They could use a better fit for them at this point in their careers, because they need the playing time that such a move can offer, so hopefully for everyone’s good they both make their transfers.