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Napoli need to make some tough decisions this summer

Some harsh transfer market realities means Napoli may lose a fan favorite or two.

UC Sampdoria v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

The transfer market is here, and with it comes significant excitement and intrigue. Everyone wants to know who the next big name player is that’s coming to their team to help improve the top end of the squad — but when it comes to Napoli, they need to make some tough decisions before making any big transfers.

With reports that Napoli’s current transfer budget is under €40 million because of the uncertainty as to whether or not they’ll make the Champions League group stage, and with the costs of the transfer market spiraling up faster than ever this summer, they need to sell some players off the back end of their squad to help raise funds before they can make significant investments aimed at improving the squad.

With Napoli needing to improve the quality of their depth, they face the tough task of figuring out who they feel like they can live without this coming season as they simultaneously try to bring in new faces. There’s probably going to be one or two players they’d rather keep that they have to sell in order to build up the funds they want for the players they have targeted.

While a few players seem like obvious to go on the chopping block — Emanuele Giaccherini, Leonardo Pavoletti, and Duvan Zapta are all being linked with moves away, as well as Juan Zuniga who is still under contract for the love of god why — there’s going to be some tougher calls to make as well. Maurizio Sarri scuppering a rumored deal for Vlad Chiriches means that one of Nikola Maksimovic or Lorenzo Tonelli may be on their way out to make room and raise money, though there’s also been renewed interest in Kalidou Koulibaly from several EPL teams, most especially from the very rich and very defender-needy Chelsea.

Losing Koulibaly would be a big blow to Napoli, but would raise a lot of money for the team to invest in multiple areas. Another possible tough blow would be a potential loss of Allan, who Watford and other teams are showing an interest in — and who in all honesty Napoli should consider selling. He’s a valuable part of the team, but with Piotr Zielinski largely passing him on the depth chart, if someone comes in with the right offer, Napoli should listen to it if it means being able to improve the team overall by selling him.

It’s a harsh reality, but that’s where we are right now with the way the transfer market is going and with Napoli not being an independently wealthy team like, say, any EPL side. It’s a tough position, but one that Cristiano Giuntoli has shown an aptitude for handling so far during his tenure as Napoli’s sporting director. There’s plenty of reason to think that Napoli can manage to swing this in such a way that they come out with a much stronger team after the summer, because they’ve managed to do just that each of the last few years.