Napoli’s Aurelio De Laurentiis is relieved that he did not “throw money away” for Matteo Politano as the Sassuolo winger “isn’t as good as Simone Verdi”.
Napoli were heavily linked with Politano towards the end of the January transfer window and seemingly agreed a €28m deal for the 24-year-old on deadline day, but the move never happened.
“It’s like when you sit at the poker table and feel compelled to bet something, several hands later,” the President told Premium Sport.
“However, I eventually got tired and decided to throw this money away: I think it was money thrown out of the window because [Politano] isn’t as good as Verdi and can’t cover three positions like the Bologna player can.
“In any case, I received a message from [Sassuolo CEO] Carnevali telling me that they had agreed a two-year loan for €8m, with the other €20m to be paid over the next three years.
“However, there was no mention of Ounas, so I had to call him: we talked for 10 minutes and at 22:15, Dr Chiavelli and I were at Filmauro.
“We wrote up around 40 pages of the contract. At 22:48 or 22:51, we sent it to Carnevali, who told me his lines were busy and that he hadn’t received anything, but then I get Ounas’ contract back without a stamp or signature.
“I didn’t understand it. Was it mysterious? I don’t care if it was. I’m a fatalist and I want to think that Politano wasn’t meant to be.”