According to reports in both Italy and Spain, Chelsea-bound Maurizio Sarri is eyeing a transfer raid on former club Napoli over the coming months.
Change at the helm
Italian tactician Sarri is expected to be announced as the man to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea imminently, after Carlo Ancelotti was officially unveiled as the new manager of Napoli earlier this week:
Napoli played out their final fixture of the season last Sunday, with the Partenopei having picked up a 2-1 win over Crotone to finish the campaign with a hugely-impressive Serie A points tally of 91.
However, unfortunately for the Neapolitans, this tally did not quite get the job done in the Italian top-flight, as perennial champions Juventus racked up an incredible 95 points to clinch their 7th-straight Scudetto crown.
In the wake of falling short once again in the Serie A title race, rumours have since been rife in the media that major changes could be in store for Napoli this summer.
Along with a change on the bench, almost all of the club’s stars have been linked with departures, with captain Marek Hamsik looking set for China, Jorginho expected to join Manchester City, and Elseid Hysaj on the radar of Manchester United, to name a few.
And, as per a report from the Evening Standard earlier today, the testing couple of months lying ahead of Napoli on the transfer market look set to be made even more troublesome by their former manager, amid claims that Maurizio Sarri has set his sights on 5 of the Partenopei’s key men.
The report names Jorginho, Raul Albiol, Elseid Hysaj, Piotr Zielinski and Kalidou Kouliably as targets for the chain-smoking Italian, though 4 of these 5 would likely prove hugely difficult signings for the board at Stamford Bridge to actually secure.
As mentioned above, midfielder Jorginho is widely expected to join Manchester City. Right-back Hysaj’s agent, meanwhile, confirmed earlier this week that his client is set to sign a new contract at the Stadio San Paolo. Attacking midfielder Zielinski is also said to be on the verge of putting pen to paper on a new contract with Napoli, while in-demand defender Koulibaly is valued at over 100 million by the Serie A outfit.
Raul Albiol would likely not be too difficult to find a deal for, but, at 32, the Spaniard would represent the least appealing of all of Sarri’s rumoured Napoli targets.