Marek Hamsik is expected to sign for Dalian Yifang on Monday, but it’s reported he told his Napoli teammates just before the Sampdoria game.
After the 3-0 victory at the Stadio San Paolo, Coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed his captain was “in negotiations” for a move to China and that the club was “inclined to give him what he wants.”
Although the price that Dalian Yifang are paying seems to vary from reports of €15m plus bonuses to €25m, he’ll sign a three-year contract worth €9m per season.
According to Il Mattino, Hamsik broke the news of his departure in the locker room just before the game against Samp on Saturday.
He also wanted to keep the matter quiet to avoid a big fuss at the Stadio San Paolo, which meant there were only around 15,000 people in the arena for what seems to have been his final match.
After 12 years at the club, ‘Marekiaro’ preferred to walk away quietly.
It was not a massive surprise, after all, because Hamsik had tried to leave for China in the summer, only for President Aurelio De Laurentiis to demand €30m.
He had also written about the temptation to go abroad in his autobiography.
“I felt that I had given everything I had for this jersey after a season in which I was not playing to the best of my abilities. I considered the possibility of giving myself something different.
“I never considered money or the other football opportunities that were presented to me, as I would’ve felt like a traitor. But in China, a land I find fascinating, I could’ve gone without betraying anyone. I would not have shown disrespect to my Napoli.
“I felt truly a symbol of Napoli and could never have played with a different jersey in Italy. I’d have disappointed myself even before the Napoli fans.
“I’m going to be honest, I would’ve earned a lot of money in China. And an experience in another culture would’ve been fascinating.
“When I heard that the offers from China had not really come in, or at least that they didn’t satisfy Napoli’s demands, it was like a revelation. Instead of feeling regret, I was overjoyed. And I saw happiness in the eyes of my family.
“I had asked destiny to decide for me, but the reaction I had told me that my heart had made the real decision. I thought to myself: ‘Naples doesn’t want me to leave. And I am happy with that.’”
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