Wednesday January 3 2018
Transfer targets Napoli need

Winter Champions Napoli lack strength in depth, so Dan White analyses potential January signings that can improve Maurizio Sarri's side.

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.

Have your say...
It's like writing that Ciciretti is better than Dybala!
Better than "Topolino" maybe.........
on the 9th January, 2018 at 2:48am
Dear serie a, why are juve fans complaining about mertens handball and not mentioning the foul on koulibaly?

dear serie a, how did juve get away with no calls vs cagliari?
on the 8th January, 2018 at 7:22pm
Naples can only get the players who are willing to join them, and that limits somewhat the quest to bring in really good established stars,
So they can only gamble on some "scommessa" and hope for the best.........
Sad, but obviously true.
on the 7th January, 2018 at 6:24am
Dear serie a, does var apply to napoli?
on the 6th January, 2018 at 4:58pm
If i were napoli i would go for the europa league, even though there are really good teams there as well. I think they have the best chance of winning it for the italians at the moment.
on the 4th January, 2018 at 8:27pm
Players like Darmian, Chiesa, Politano, Izzo would definitely add something to the squad, but I do believe Napoli need to sign at least 1 world class player by summer, as either Mertens or Milik will be moving on.
I'd keep an eye on Immobile. Perin or Rulli for GK.
Napoli won't win the bidding war, but Milinkovic-Savic would be amazing in this Napoli setup.
Might as well try for De Vrij from Lazio too, as Albiol is not much of a force at the top level anymore. Maybe test out Samp for Ferrari
on the 4th January, 2018 at 12:32pm
@Ferban these are just players the writer came up with, there's no concrete interest from Napoli themselves. In any case what Napoli need now is depth, not first team players. Transfers in January is always difficult because players either want first team chance or they refuse to leave the comfort zone. Signing bit-part players or players making a step up to big teams is the more realistic course of action. Darmian and Ciciretti will definitely add much needed depth for Napoli.
on the 4th January, 2018 at 5:29am

Fekir would be very nice, but in today's crazy market he could be 60m+

Can't see Napoli spending that without selling.

A keeper, strong reserve RB, a first-choice CB, and another forward (along with Inglese) are needed to have any hope of keeping Juve at bay.
on the 3rd January, 2018 at 10:30pm
Napoli should go all out and sign Justin Kluivert! That would be awesome for Serie A...
on the 3rd January, 2018 at 6:22pm
The list above really offers nothing in terms of players who could compete for the first 11.

Considering the pressing need for napoli is a forward why is neres not on this list or ferreyra or fekir or finnbogason or any other in form forward. If napoli are serious about winning the scudetto than they need to buy in form players.

Buying over paid underused players is not going to really add anything but another burden on the team and in the wage budget.
on the 3rd January, 2018 at 3:49pm
The above will add depth, not much else.

Most have barely played this season, and it shows how Serie A has fallen when the leaders are trying to sign bit-part players from other teams.

Darmian might be worth taking, mainly because he can cover both sides. Napoli could be better off going for De Vrij now while he's cheaper. Selling Maksimovic would cover the fee too.

Inglese should ease the burden up front, but a keeper will be needed soon too. Rulli or Perin could make strong contrribution
on the 3rd January, 2018 at 10:52am

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