Aurelio De Laurentiis warns Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens will be ‘sellouts’ if they leave Napoli for China and admits “I’ll sell Kalidou Koulibaly” one day.
Callejon and Mertens have been heavily linked with moves to China, given their Napoli contracts expire at the end of the season, and De Laurentiis made it clear he was not a fan of their potential destination.
“I’m absolutely not prepared to make a major effort for them,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“Each player has a value, depending on where they play, how they play, how old they are and what they do.
“If they want to sell themselves out in China, overpaid to live a life of s*** for two or three years, it’s their problem.
“I can’t consider China to be competitive. China’s far away. If they consider it to be close, it’s their problem.
“In life, you have to choose whether to be happy and find a job you enjoy doing or work just for money.
“For me, money is a means and not an end; if it’s an end for them then they should go to China.”
The President was more enthusiastic about Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz but conceded he may not be able to keep them for much longer.
“I loved Koulibaly the man so I refused €105m, but a time will come when I’ll have to sell him. Whoever says we didn’t improve our defence is wrong.
“Fabian’s always been a top player. If I convince myself to pay a stranger €30m, I do it for a reason and now I know why.
“It’s one thing to play for your country and another to do it for a team who play every three days.
“We found Fabian, but we’ll find more like him. The door’s always open. I don’t get attached to players.”