Leader in the Serie A standings after an almost perfect start to the season, Napoli face some big dilemmas behind the scenes.
Everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Naples has just chained 7 victories in 7 days of Serie A. The icing on the cake, the leading place in the standings. Luciano Spalletti, who arrived on the bench this summer to relaunch the Partenopei, can therefore have a smile. Yes but now, the balance is fragile, in particular because of the economic situation of the team chaired by Aurelio De Laurentiis and that of several executives.
Captain, Lorenzo Insigne (30 years old) is at the end of his lease in June 2022. Negotiations are open concerning an extension, but the European champion has not yet seen his salary requirements fulfilled (he is currently at 4 , 7 M € net per year and hope at least 6 to replenish). Several clubs are on the lookout (Inter, Manchester United and Major League Soccer in particular) and the progress of the discussions could have an influence on the rest of his season.
Insignia and Mertens, sensitive matters
Top scorer in the history of the club (135 achievements in all competitions), Dries Mertens (34) also comes to the end of his contract in June 2022. And if he has an extension clause for an additional year, nothing does not say that it will be activated, in view of its use this season (a small appearance only) and its emoluments estimated at 4 M € net per year. Between reason and feelings, these two cases promise to be very sensitive …
Three other players see their contracts expire in June 2022. They are three former Ligue 1 players: Colombian international goalkeeper David Ospina (ex-Nice, € 1.6 million net per year), Algerian international left-back Faouzi Ghoulam (ex-ASSE, 4 M € net per year) and the right side Kevin Malcuit (ex-LOSC, 1.2 M € net per year). The question of their future will also arise. Especially since, to replace the last two mentioned, the profiles have already been targeted.
The Gazzetta dello Sport explains that the Neapolitans are actively working on Reinildo (27 years old, Lille) on the left and Noussair Mazraoui (23 years old, Ajax) on the right. Two internationals – Mozambican and Moroccan – also free in June 2022. There are no small savings to try to remain competitive. However, be careful not to disturb the current good progress of a group that walks on water in Italy …