Riccardo Bigon is a busy man. Kalidou Koulibaly is all but signed, and is just waiting for the transfer window to open before announcing it. Not one to rest on his laurels, Bigon has already set out looking for his next conquest.
Of late we've seen a preference for players who are younger and have potential, but already have lots of first team experience to draw on. Bigon, Rafa Benitez, and Aurelio De Laurentiis have showed a focus on not just improving the squad in the here and now, but securing quality in the future as well.
With that in mind, there's several key positions that we could see reinforced this summer. One of those is at right back, where Christian Maggio has been declining for two years and there's no real heir apparent, especially if Camilo Zuniga leaves this summer as is being heavily rumored.
That brings us to one Daryl Janmaat, a 24 year old (25 next month) right back who plies his trade for Feyenoord in the Eredivisie, Holland's top division. He's also a full Dutch international, with 15 caps for Holland's national team and a member of Louis Van Gaal's squad for the World Cup. He's experienced, accomplished, and a good tactical fit for Rafa Benitez.
As far as Janmaat's skillset is concerned, think of him as a right-sided Faouzi Ghoulam. Not flashy, but steady and capable of contributing in a variety of areas. He's well balanced and while he's certainly not elite, he's extremely capable in his own right and shouldn't be a disappointment to his new club.
This is where things get a little murky. A variety of sources, headlined by Gazzetta dello Sport, are pushing a story that Napoli have "all but signed" Janmaat, with the Gazzetta going so far as to suggest that Napoli are just "waiting for space in the squad." The Gazzetta is choosing to interpret as an impending sale of one Christian Maggio.
While there's some reason to believe in such a potential sale (which we'll be addressing in the near future), it's still an odd scenario both in practicality and logistics. As we discussed this morning, Napoli must have a certain number of Home Grown players on the roster for the Champions League, and losing Christian Maggio would leave them one short without calling on another unlikely-to-be-used Primavera player. In order to maintain both depth and quality, selling him would necessitate not just buying Janmaat to replace him at right back, but another Italian-trained player elsewhere, making it potentially a much more expensive proposition.
Speaking of fees, no one's mentioning one for Janmaat yet. But considering that Feyenoord picked him up on a free transfer two years ago and that he only has one more year left on his existing deal, his current club don't have a ton of leverage with which to try and extract a large fee, especially since they can't offer as large of wages as Napoli can.
Of course, an inexpensive deal for a good right back means that other clubs will surely come a-calling, and it sounds like they are. The Gazzetta report indicates that Janmaat has already spurned an offer from Juventus, and both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United have been linked with him recently by English papers. Still, it sounds as though Napoli are in the lead on this one, and hopefully we'll have more good news soon, as Janmaat would be a very, very good signing for Napoli.