Saturday August 24 2019
Napoli hold Llorente, wait for Icardi

Napoli have agreed terms with Fernando Llorente, even after Fiorentina interest, but will reportedly give Mauro Icardi another 48 hours to quit Inter.

The Partenopei brought in Hirving Lozano from PSV Eindhoven for €38m plus bonuses, but are still seeking a prolific centre-forward to join Arkadiusz Milik.

Their Number 1 target throughout the summer has been Icardi, who is refusing to leave Inter for anyone but Juventus, despite the threat of being effectively frozen out for six months until the January transfer window opens.

Recent social media posts from the player and his wife/agent Wanda Nara all point to remaining at Inter, including a new apartment under construction in Milan and videos of them with teammates at Lautaro Martinez’s birthday party.

It might even be working, with news Inter have assigned Icardi a jersey for the 2019-20 season, albeit Number 7 after his 9 was given to new buy Romelu Lukaku.

At the same time, Juventus have left their Number 9 jersey empty, so are also waiting for Inter to open the door to an Icardi discount or potential swap with Paulo Dybala.

According to the Corriere dello Sport, Napoli haven’t lost hope and are giving Maurito another 48 hours to make a definitive decision.

Inter already agreed terms with the Partenopei for €65m plus bonuses and would much prefer a sale to them than arch-rivals Juve, particularly as they believe the Bianconeri have been working with Icardi behind the scenes to create this situation.

If Icardi continues to refuse the Stadio San Paolo, then Napoli have already lined up Llorente, who is a free agent after his contract with Tottenham Hotspur expired.

Despite another attempt to intercede by Fiorentina last night, Napoli have a basic agreement with the Spaniard to sign a two-year deal worth €2.5m per season.