The Marek Hamsik transfer to Dalian Yifang, or indeed any Chinese Super League club, remains open until February 28, despite Napoli’s statement.
The Partenopei caused a shockwave this evening when releasing a statement about the move, which had been effectively agreed.
“Calcio Napoli have decided to suspend the sale of Marek Hamsik to the Chinese club, as the payment method is not aligned with the previously agreed arrangements.”
The wording here is absolutely crucial, as it does not terminate negotiations, nor abandon the transfer entirely.
It is simply ‘suspended’ or in the English version of the statement later sent out by Napoli Calcio “delayed” due to disagreements over the payment method.
According to Sky Sport Italia, the deal had been for €18m plus another €2m in performance-related bonuses.
However, Dalian Yifang asked to spread the payment out over three years, or even to take Hamsik on loan with option to buy.
This infuriated Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis, who sent out the terse statement as a warning that he would only part with Hamsik on his terms.
The Chinese Super League transfer window is open until February 28, so it gives them plenty of time to agree on terms.
That is the other issue, as Dalian Yifang are never mentioned in the statement, referring only to “the Chinese.”
That leaves the door open for a different club to come in and offer the same financial terms, as Hamsik has said he wants to play in China, but never specified a club.
He has indeed already been linked with Guangzhou Evergrande, who have ex-Napoli stars Fabio and Paolo Cannavaro on the coaching staff.
So while Hamsik will evidently not be flying out in 48 hours, as he and his father had suggested just today, then Napoli fans cannot celebrate the permanence of their captain just yet.
This move is still very much on the table and could go through by the end of the month.