Napoli may be sat at the top of Serie A, leading the teams fighting for the Scudetto but, at the season’s halfway point, Coach Maurizio Sarri will be looking to bolster his squad in January if his team are to keep up their title push in the second half of the season.
While President Aurelio De Laurentiis has announced the imminent arrival of summer signing Roberto Inglese from Chievo, here are just a few players the Azzurri could be looking to bring in during the winter transfer window.
Matteo Darmian (Manchester United)
If recent rumours are to be believed, then Manchester United’s out-of-favour full-back Matteo Darmian could join Napoli in January for a reported fee of around €15m. Sarri is looking to find a ready-made replacement for Faouzi Ghoulam after the 26-year-old suffered a serious knee injury in November.
Darmian, 28, has been a bit-part player in the Red Devils’ squad this season under Jose Mourinho and is likely to jump at the chance of a title run in Italy.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City)
After Napoli target Simone Verdi announced he is “definitely not leaving Bologna in January, as I want to end the season here," Sarri has turned his attention elsewhere. To fill the gap until a potential summer bid for Verdi, Sarri has set his sights on a loan deal for Manchester City’s attacker Oleksandr Zinchenko.
The 21-year-old is a versatile player who can slot in anywhere in the forward line, or as a left-back, and facing only limited minutes in City’s first team this season, a loan deal until the summer could benefit both parties.
Amin Younes (Ajax)
Reports coming out of Italy suggest Amin Younes is in advanced negotiations with Napoli and could seal a deal this week. With the attacking midfielder’s contract expiring in the summer and Younes ruling out signing a new deal, a cut-price deal could be agreed for the 24-year-old, allowing Sarri to boost his attacking options while Ajax don’t lose the German winger on a free come summer.
Zinedine Machach (free agent)
Practically a done deal, Napoli have been battling Torino to sign the 21-year-old French midfielder Zinedine Machach since his contract was terminated at the end of October.
Despite fears over his temperament – Machach became a free agent after brawling with Toulouse reserve team Coach Denis Zanko – the gifted young midfielder has bags of talent and has already made 31 Ligue 1 appearances, scoring two goals and recording one assist.
Amato Ciciretti (Benevento)
Benevento may be having one of the worst seasons by a club in Serie A history, but there has been a shining light in the form of forward Amato Ciciretti. However, with the 23-year-old’s contract set to expire in the summer, Napoli are looking to get their hands on another cut-price bargain by snapping up Ciciretti in January.
The ex-Roma forward, who has provided two goals and an assist so far this season, is also wanted by Inter, Lazio and Udinese and could see a bidding war played out between the clubs unless the Azzurri act fast.