Napoli president De Laurentiis speaks about the possibility of signing 23-year-old Barcelona star
What's the story?
Barcelona have gone all out to sign Philippe Coutinho in this window and it is inevitable that the Brazilian's signing will lead to some fringe players departing the squad. Now, it seems like Gerard Deulofeu is set to return to Serie A with Napoli interested in completing the deal for the talented 23-year-old.
Speaking to Radio Kiss Kiss about Napoli's current situation, president De Laurentiis said:
"Napoli have to also focus on the future and not only on the present. Deulofeu or Verdi? Let's see, it will also be up to Sarri. When you sign players that will join the first squad, your coach has a big say on the matter. When you sign a player, you also need to get the okay from him and his club. "
The Serie A leaders are keen to strengthen in the January transfer window and it seems like it is up to Napoli manager Sarri to choose between Deulofeu and Simone Verdi.
In case you didn't know...
Having come up the ranks at Barcelona, Duelofeu was touted to be one of the most talented youngsters at the famed La Masia academy. However, after struggling to break through to the Barca first team, the Spaniard made a name for himself first at Everton and then in an extremely impressive loan spell at AC Milan.
Re-signed just this summer, the arrivals of Coutinho and Dembele coupled with his own form and fitness issues have seen his opportunities for regular playing time decrease drastically. With Napoli looking to strengthen on the wings and Barcelona looking to offload some fringe players, the move might well come to fruition in the January transfer window.
The heart of the matter
Rafinha, Andre Gomes, and Gerard Deulofeu have all been linked with exits in the recent days and the Blaugrana are reportedly looking to offload them to recoup some money and reduce the wage bill.
Napoli, on the other hand, are determined to pip Juventus to the Serie A title this season and have shortlisted the attacking duo of Deulofeu and Verdi as potential January signings. With Sarri's emphasis on pace and attacking possession-based football, the 23-year-old Spaniard might be lining up at the San Paolo before the end of the January transfer window.
Barcelona are looking to sell and with Napoli keen on adding some extra attacking muscle, the move seems to make perfect sense for all parties involved. Deulofeu has already impressed in the Serie A and he could just prove to be the X-factor for Napoli when the Serie A title race heats up.