Thursday April 24 2014
Gonalons '80% at Napoli'

Maxime Gonalons is “80 per cent likely to play for Napoli,” but he could be joined by Lyon teammate Samuel Umtiti.

He had already been extremely close to making the move in January before Olympique Lyonnais President Jean-Michel Aulas pulled the plug.

However, the patron did so with the pledge he’d release Gonalons if the offer was repeated over the summer.

“I am in Lyon and will be in Naples tomorrow,” agent Frederic Guerra told Radio CRC.

“Gonalons has offers from many clubs and everyone knows Napoli requested him, but then Aulas turned down the proposal because the season wouldn’t end well without their captain.

“I have to admit Aulas was right, as the team is doing very well with Gonalons. He left the door open for the summer, though we have to begin negotiations afresh, as the price-tag in January cannot be the same as in June.

“There has been contact several times between the player and Rafa Benitez. He also chooses based on the Coach, because you need the respect of the tactician you’re going to work with and Benitez also wanted Gonalons back at Liverpool.

“Gonalons wants to join a club that fights to win. If Napoli are built to win the Scudetto, then Gonalons will accept.

“The priority is to play for Napoli, but he wants a team that is up to the task. Before saying yes, therefore, we’d like to understand what their transfer strategy is.

“What are the odds of seeing Gonalons at Napoli next season? I’d say he is 80 per cent likely to arrive, but I doubt the move will be completed before the World Cup.”

Guerra also represents Samuel Umtiti, the Lyon defender who impressed in the Europa League quarter-final against Juventus.

“Napoli like Umtiti and I also spoke to Riccardo Bigon about him. He’s an important player, young and can improve further. He can play as a centre-back or left-back.

“If Napoli were to call, he would accept, even if they weren’t challenging for the Scudetto. If the club offers what we are asking for, then Umtiti will go to Napoli. He really likes this option.”

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