NEWS
Thursday December 14 2017
ADL: ‘Napoli like Vrsaljko but…’

President Aurelio De Laurentiis admits Napoli want Sime Vrsaljko, but ‘Atletico Madrid told me they can’t give him to me until June’.

The Partenopei have been heavily linked with the Croatian international, as they need cover at full-back after Faouzi Ghoul’s cruciate ligament injury.

It has been reported in recent days that Vrsaljko is keen to return to Italy, and De Laurentiis was asked by Il Mattino if there’s interest from their side.

“Yes, but it’s complicated,” the film producer replied.

“I spoke to Atletico’s President [Enrique Cerezo] on the phone recently an he told me that he can’t give him to me now, but in June, because they have too many games.”

De Laurentiis also discussed a number of other issues relating to the club, not least Pepe Reina’s contract, which expires at the end of this season.

“Pepe is a Neapolitan. It depends on him, and whether he wants to stay and work something out with me.

“Sarri? I’m a solid man, if others want to stay with me then they’re more than welcome. Sarri in particular, because he’s a decent person.

“Why hadn’t he used Marko Rog and Adam Ounas? It takes longer to adapt to his style of play, Sarri is extremely responsible and he doesn’t want to damage Napoli’s style.

“Now though the time is coming where we have the Europa League, the league and the Coppa Italia so everyone will get their chance.”

Napoli are going for the Scudetto, and it has been suggested by some that being knocked out of the Champions League could even help them with that…

“When we lose it always hurts,” De Laurentiis insisted.

“The elimination weighs on me because we had to be more focused when we got the news about City [losing to Shakhtar Donetsk].

“We didn’t have to give up the chance to get one more win and be seeded for the Europa League.

“We’ll make a virtue of necessity [in the Europa League], we’ll make a lot of chances and we could get to see the true value of the signings we’ve made.”

RB Leipzig aren’t easy opponents though.

“No, they’re not. But we need to go as far as we can in every competition.

“Marek Hamsik’s goal drought? Every player has they’re moments where they’re not quite… he’s a great player and we just have to wait for him to get back to how he was before.”