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Tuesday July 19 2016
Napoli's Image Problem

Whist rivals Juventus are busy strengthening their squad, Napoli’s deals are failing at the eleventh hour, writes Chloe Beresford.

After squandering a sizeable lead over eventual Serie A champions Juventus, Napoli once again find themselves behind the Bianconeri in the summer transfer market. Last year’s second-placed club have secured the signings of Emanuele Giaccherini from Sunderland and Lorenzo Tonelli from Empoli, both of whom are solid additions to the squad, but much more is needed from the Partenopei before the end of the window on August 31.

In order to even come close to matching the level of Juventus’ dominance in the latter stages of the previous campaign, Napoli would need to make significant investments, but this is without taking into account the moves that last year's champions have already made. Securing the signings of Miralem Pjanic from fellow rivals AS Roma along with Dani Alves and Medhi Benatia, the Bianconeri have already made a huge statement regarding their ambitions for next season.

If Juve can also pull off an astonishing move to capture star striker Gonzalo Higuain, Napoli will be playing catch-up at an even faster rate. Whilst they are unlikely to accept anything less than the €94 million release clause in the Argentinian’s contract, the policies of President Aurelio Di Laurentiis are seriously hampering the Partenopei’s progress in the transfer market.

His firm stance over image rights saw several high-quality players walk away from talks at the eleventh hour, leaving Napoli unable to secure the kind of personnel needed to mount a credible title challenge. Although footballers usually allow clubs to use their image to promote the brand in advertising campaigns, many secure their own personal agreements for boots, watches and other products.

This can prove to be extremely lucrative, and Di Laurentiis’ insistence on all image rights belonging to Napoli means that any new players must end all existing arrangements with sponsors before joining the club. This is not a new issue in Naples, but recent deals for Lazio’s Antonio Candreva and Zenit’s Axel Witsel have all fallen through as a direct result of this issue.

A €17 million deal had also been reportedly agreed with Roberto Peyreyra of Juventus, only for it to predictably stall when agreeing personal terms. “There are a few problems with image rights, but we knew that would always be something to consider with Napoli and we'll try to resolve the situation,” his agent told Calcio Napoli 24. "Juve and Napoli are talking now. Roberto really likes the idea of moving to Napoli and we hope it can all be resolved in the best way."

This is not a new issue in Naples, nor does it only affect incoming transfers. Di Laurentiis publicly expressed his outrage with highly-rated defender Kalidou Koulibaly after he spoke to the press about a potential €30m move to Chelsea this summer, adding that he would “probably have to pay Napoli millions over the next few years.” These issues only serve as a distraction from the task at hand, which should be building a stronger squad for Coach Maurizio Sarri next season. Whilst Juventus are making headlines through securing deals early on in the transfer window, Napoli are in the news for quite the opposite - their inability to close a deal.

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Have your say...
@Al Dino,
You are absolutely spot on about ADL and his false ambitions, he does not want to challenge Juve, he prefers to be second or there about, and make maney, in stead of going for the full mounty.
on the 22nd August, 2016 at 4:27pm
Any one who thinks that either the epl or English football s better than serie a or Italian football has no clue about football.
on the 31st July, 2016 at 12:48pm
Why someone still thinks that epl is top? They were but not now. There's no team from epl that can compete with juventus period. Look at what epl teams did in the Europe and England did in euro cup, it's shame. Leister and Spurs fighted for title means epl is mere a joke. The average quality of epl is still good but no top teams can't be denied. 1 team in CL quarter would be the best result of epl for couple of years.the top 8 would be big 3 + juventus, psg, atl, Dortmund+one Unknown
on the 24th July, 2016 at 9:58am
@Anonymous Financially speaking you are absolutley right Serie A clubs cant compete with the English but comapring leagues is really complicated and as i see English clubs have a hard time getting talented players and have to spend astronomical fees for players that are avarge at best. ManU has spent over 500mil over the course of last two season and still didnt do anything in Europe or in EPL.
on the 24th July, 2016 at 12:32am
Fact is Serie A is an empty league with Pjanic and Higuain out of Roma and Napoli. Juve might be a top 4 candidate in England, those two sides would be midtable. Given the strength of sides like SOuthampton, West Ham, and Liverpool, most of the rest of serie a would be fighting relegation in england.

That's if they weren't forced into bankruptcy by empty stadiums. I think both Roma and Napoli will have an attendance crisis this year.
on the 23rd July, 2016 at 10:00pm
@GNaplesFLA

6 English clubs? Obviously Leicester isn't one of them since they just came in this year, which leaves Machester clubs (one couldn't get past an easy group while the other beaten by Juve home and away), Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal. With only Chelsea having any meaningful silverware in recent years (and finished 10th last year so similar to Milan) how are any of the rest better than Roma or Napoli?

I'm talking about team strengths, not finance. PL teams fail there
on the 21st July, 2016 at 9:36am
Stadiums- all around, the. In turn TV money, and on a smaller level the 5 hour time difference to USA EAST, CANADA, the great TV coverage NBC puts on the plethora games spread out early Saturday and Sunday it's had to compete.

I wish NBC had Champions League tv rights. It's crazy how some big games are passed up for perceived popular natch ups e.g. Barcelona or Real against a minnow.

Curious how this really no big news (gossip only) transfer market plays out specifically Higuain, Pogba..
on the 20th July, 2016 at 10:40pm
Disagree juve -Best club teams 1-3 Real, Barca & Bayern Munich no particular order
Then Atleti, juve PSG with 6 English clubs right there.

The PL is flush with money & after this tv deal the bottom teams are too. It is the strongest league top to bottom. PL any given game all can win.

France One team and then big drop off Germany 2 maybe three, Spain 3 and the bottom half real weak. Serie A Juve top- 2A & B napoli Roma. The rest is fun but dont show up in the UEFA cups.

SErie A lacks...
on the 20th July, 2016 at 10:32pm
@GNaplesFLA

Didn't the Euros indicate to you how much quality is found in the PL? Both Belgium and England lost to much weaker teams, on paper anyway. And the clubs losing to Leicester isn't a result of in-fighting, the decline hit a new low that year.

@Anonymous

Considering Juve will continue to be Italy's best club, overturning a huge misstep earlier last season, why should fans care about the coefficient? It's players of the other clubs (like Handanovic) who grow impatient with lack of CL.
on the 20th July, 2016 at 12:24pm
I don't know weather to hail ADL for his way of using players image rights to pay their wages or to criticize him for not doing more to strengthen his team. What it really comes down to is that Napoli doesn't need to win the league for the next 10 years they are staying financially afloat and until ADL figures out a way to get Napoli their own stadium all he has to aim for is the top 3 places. I would say that is a smart way of doing business.
on the 20th July, 2016 at 3:41am
Serie A is a dead league as it is right now with Juve using FFP to destroy the Milan sides and their Taleban at Tuttosport and sky-sports to unbalance and force players out of their rivals at Roma and Napoli.

What point is it to spend money for the rest? Keep a squad capable of finishing 3rd and leave losing to Munich/Madrid/Barcelona to Rube. They seem to crave it so!

Oh right the much whined about uefa coefficient, who cares!?! Only Rube fans.
on the 19th July, 2016 at 3:56pm
The more important (you are very very liberal with the truth here) issue for Napoli is engagement and staying within that parameter. This is crucial for Napoli and the negotiation is down to this - which has a link to IR but not exclusively.
Napoli need new streams of revenue and although the company is run very well, until Napoli find ways to increase revenue they will always be limited in what it can offer players. Players will need to WANT Napoli for now.
on the 19th July, 2016 at 2:18pm
surely you wouldn't want witsel or candreva if they are more concerned about their image rights rather than being a first team player in napoli.

in addition there is a level of uncertainty after the higuain saga i can understand why they signings haven't been coming in thick and fast. still napoli need to get on with it the parameters have been set in regards to higuain. A striker midfield player seems like a must for napoli to build upon last season.
on the 19th July, 2016 at 1:24pm
Article gives no insight if all clubs cede image rights or if any are like ADL/Napoli.

I've read other sites that the tifosi are ticked with the constant image rights hold ups.
on the 19th July, 2016 at 1:23pm
Liecster Won the Premier League & they did not rotate, part of the reason it worked out was that the top 6-8 teams all beat each other up, and played in Champions & Europa League.

Liecster was in the FA Cup as was everyone else.
I rooted for them all year (great story) this year with lack of depth and Champions league will be tough.

Napoli was the same no rotation chugging along but by March They were tied evidence by Alan, Insigne, Albiol...They tired out of Europa & almost pooched 2nd place
on the 19th July, 2016 at 1:18pm
The issue was lack of rotation and the players got burnt out Starting in March. They lost to Juve and Roma last minutes with tired legs.

Juve has depth and for the most part rotate without losing much quality.

Lopez, Validifiori and Strincic did not offer anything special off the bench or in rotation. Maggio no longer fits in. Chlaboha (however you spelled his name) should have never been picked up. Grassi came over got hurt and never really saw the pitch afterwards.
on the 19th July, 2016 at 1:08pm
Agree with article and comment. Napoli need to show that they mean to take the next step and be agressive in the transfer market.
They simply can't lose GH and KK. This would put them back in the Europa league places.
However, it must always be said how much ADL had done for Napoli. I trust he will do the right thing.
on the 19th July, 2016 at 1:05pm
Napoli's issue is the defence. With the likes of Hamsik, Allan, Jorginho, Insigne, Callejon, Mertens, Giaccherini etc, they've enough in their midfield and attack to challenge for the title. Last season, Napoli scored 5 more goals than Juventus, but conceded 12 more. Yes they only conceded 32 in 38 games, but Hysaj, Chiriches, albiol, Ghoulam good enough to get into the Juventus side? NO. They need better players in defence to be a true force.
on the 19th July, 2016 at 11:25am

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