Napoli are “in negotiations” with Barcelona SC for Ecuador international starlet Leonardo Campana, confirmed his agent, but “nothing has been defined. He’d have a preference for Italy.”
The reports emerged last night that a deal was done for €5-6m, but CalcioNapoli24.it contacted his agent Federico Pena to ask for more details.
“That is not the case. There are certainly negotiations open, but nothing has been defined with any of the interested clubs.
“He is a player who made his mark as one of the best in the Under-20 World Cup and attracted a lot of attention. There are several Italian clubs tracking him, especially as Ecuador faced Italy twice in the tournament, first in the group stage and then to win the third place final.
“Campana’s Instagram message about missing people was a reference to his friends who are going to Chicago to continue their studies.
“You see, Campana is an unusual player in Ecuador. He comes from a wealthy family of a high social standing, his father was a Government minister and the lad was given the best possible education.
“He speaks English fluently, frequented an international school and had opportunities that are almost unthinkable in Ecuador.
“There are other clubs interested, many of them, but I don’t want to name names. His club, Barcelona SC, lowered their asking price to €5m, whereas before the Under-20 World Cup, they had been hoping for €15m.
“That evaluation made quite a few clubs run away, but now they are coming back to the table. Campana is an important player with incredible prospects. Don’t forget, he made his senior debut for Ecuador before playing for Barcelona SC.
“The choice of his next step isn’t just down to the player, so whoever pays up first, will presumably get to take him home. Some had tried to take him on loan, but his current club doesn’t like that option.
“This is not a South American teenager distracted by parties or nightlife, but a highly-disciplined athlete who had a top level education. His father is a former tennis pro who participated in the Olympics, so he comes from good stock.
“He is a centre-forward, very tally and two-footed, there really is no difference between when he kicks with his left or his right. Despite being tall, he is not a static striker, but someone I’d compare – with all due respect and proportion – to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“I mean to describe that he’s big, but not clumsy or static. He is ready for Europe and would have a preference for Italy, but we’ll see…”