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Mercato Madness: Starting From Scratch

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With Radja Nainggolan in Rome and Napoli's bid for Maxime Gonalons rejected, where does that leave the club's midfield plans?

Giuseppe Bellini

Just a few short days ago, it seemed like Napoli's midfield was about to receive a strong reinforcement. Dreams of Belgians and Frenchmen bossing the middle of the pitch floated in fans' heads, and given the inconsistency of the Swiss trio of Inler, Behrami, and Dzemaili, a desire for a quality import is perfectly understandable.

Now, all that seems to be in tatters.

Radja Nainggolan has all but signed on with Roma, and is in the capitol for a medical. Lyon's president has publiclystated that he has rejected Napoli's bid for Maxime Gonalons and has told Aurelio De Laurentiis that the midfielder is not for sale. So where does that leave Napoli and their quest to improve the squad?

Fortunately it's still quite early in the transfer window, and Napoli have time to regroup and move on to secondary targets. There's also every chance that Lyon's president is just posturing to try and get more money out of Napoli, but if he wants more than the prices being reported, then it might be in the club's best interest to move along.

As for other potential targets, that's not yet clear. Outside of some vague rumors of Anzhi Makhachkala's Jucilei last month, no other central mids of note have been linked with the club since the summer. Still, as mentioned before, there's time to get things sorted out and find someone else to spend De La's money on.

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Also in the news is Eduardo Vargas, on loan to Gremio in Brazil for the past year. By the originally known terms of his loan, Vargas' loan should have expired by now, but there's been precious little said about him of late. There were reports a few weeks ago of a potential loan to another Brazilian club, Santos, but nothing has been said of that since it first arose. To say that his future with Napoli is in doubt is a certainty, but what's going to happen to the Chilean forward?

Today comes word that Spanish side Valencia are considering a bid to bring in Vargas in order to reinforce their attacking group. Such a move would be wise for Vargas, as he'd be playing at a high level in preparation for Chile's World Cup bid. Still, it'd be a shame to see him move on; the thought of Vargas fitting in to the rotation among the wide forwards under the system Rafa Benitez has been employing is a tempting one.