Written By Onyeka Daniel
Napoli want to shore up their squad ahead of the next transfer window and have set deadlines for the contract renewals of two of their stars. The Partenopei managed not to lose too many elements of their Scudetto winning side in the summer.
Their only major move being Kim Min-Jae’s €50m sale to Bayern Munich. Hirving Lozano also left to PSV for around €15m. Napoli are now focusing their attention inwards over the next few months, wanting to tie down various stars like Victor Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Piotr Zielinski to new long-term deals.
Reports in Spain claim that Barcelona are planning to make a move for Kvaratskhelia next summer. The 22-year-old Georgian winger exploded onto the scene in his debut season with the Partenopei, scoring 14 goals and providing 17 assists in his first 43 appearances.
Over the summer, it was widely reported that Napoli were working on a new contract for Kvaratskhelia, adjusting his salary to reflect his newfound star status, but both the club and the player’s agent Mamuka Jugeli told the media that negotiations were not ongoing.
According to reports from Spain, Barcelona are starting to plan out a move for Kvaratskhelia next summer, when Joao Felix will return to Atletico Madrid following the conclusion of his loan spell.
The obvious problem for the Blaugrana is the finances, considering that Napoli want more than €100m for the 22-year-old winger. One thing that could help Barcelona is Kvaratskhelia’s contract situation, however.
He is one of the lowest paid players in the squad, earning just €1m net per season, and his agent did seemingly open the door to a move to Catalonia. When discussing the winger’s Napoli contract to the media recently, his agent Jugeli said:
“Maybe one day when Kvara will be ready to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, that will be evaluated in the future.” But they will have to deal with the Italian club as the player has a contract that doesn’t expire until 2027.
Manchester City are also monitoring the situation for the winger. Napoli also want to ensure that both Osimhen and Zielinski sign their new contracts before the end of this year, avoiding any possible drama in the January transfer window.
Zielinski is keen to extend his deal with the Partenopei, having rejected a move to Saudi Arabia, but there’s still no agreement yet regarding the commissions and his salary reduction.
Osimhen has already agreed a new salary with the club, around €6m net per season, but no common ground has been found on the release clause yet. His agent Roberto Calenda is in constant contact with Napoli.
Failing to find an agreement with them, the club could be forced to sell them in the next summer transfer window to avoid keeping an unhappy player and also enable the club to rebuild by selling them for high price.
Former Napoli manager, Luciano Spalletti is only the third man after Antonio Conte and Helenio Herrera to go straight from winning the Serie A title to becoming the coach of the Italy national team. The coach makes his debut this evening in a EURO 2024 qualifier against North Macedonia.
This qualifying phase had been started by Roberto Mancini with three points from two games against England and Malta, then there was a break for Nations League fixtures. Mancini resigned on August 13 and Spalletti was appointed on September 1, having left Napoli after the Scudetto victory.
In so doing, Spalletti becomes only the third coach to go straight from the Serie A title to the Italy job. The most recent was Conte, who left Juventus one day into pre-season training in the summer of 2014. Before that, going all the way back to 1966, Herrera went from celebrating the 1965-66 Scudetto at Inter to becoming a joint Italy boss with Ferruccio Valcareggi.
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