Marcello Lippi maintains Kostas Manolas is “an exceptional coup for Napoli, as with Kalidou Koulibaly, he allows you to play aggressive football.”
The deal is believed to be imminent, with Roma receiving €20m cash plus midfielder Amadou Diawara.
Another meeting is expected today to work on personal terms, as Manolas and his agent have not yet finalised the image rights transfer.
“Napoli are doing so well on the transfer market,” Lippi told Tuttosport newspaper.
“Manolas is an exceptional coup, because in a partnership with Koulibaly, he allows you to play more aggressive football. It means you can get a little unbalanced pouring forward and still be well-protected, if needed.”
Lippi had experience at Napoli early in his career, before going on to five Serie A titles and the World Cup.
“You get the sensation that you are dealing with a squad that has extraordinary potential. I tell you, in 1993-94, we stopped receiving our salaries in November. I told the players clearly: go to your lawyers, sue whoever you want, but in those two hours of training and then in a match situation, you have to spit blood for the cause.
“Dragged on by 70,000 fans, without any wages until June, we managed to secure a UEFA Cup place, beating Milan and Parma. That was a formidable team in a formidable city.”