Eliaquim Mangala was earlier this week linked with a new suitor – Napoli. What is clear is that despite the increasing likelihood that the Partenopei have held off Chelsea’s advances for star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, they are still chasing another centre-back.
Mangala is available for transfer and Manchester City are willing to take a major hit on the huge fee they paid for the French defender just two years ago. However, there are mixed reports from Italy on just how advanced Napoli’s interest is at this stage.
This morning, during ‘Si gonfia la rete’ on Naples-based Radio CRC, it was reported that Napoli were very close to acquiring 25-year-old Mangala on a free loan for the season, and would pay him a salary of €3.5 million for the season.
Well-known SportItalia journalist, Alfredo Pedulla, then refuted that a deal was that close. He did acknowledge Napoli’s interest in Mangala, but said the club’s current ‘obsession’ is Torino centre-half Nikola Maksimović, who is being compared to retired compatriot Nemanja Vidić. According to Pedulla, Mangala has been offered to Napoli but, at this point, that’s as far as it has gotten.
Sportmediaset then offered their own update, also claiming Maksimović is Napoli’s priority. However, they believe Chelsea have nudged ahead of Napoli in the pursuit for that player and if they do land him, Napoli will probably knock on City’s door for Napoli.
Like Radio CRC, Gazzetta dello Sport believes a ‘dry loan’ could happen and that Mangala is all for the move. Eccentric Napoli chairman, Aurelio De Laurentiis, is ‘not put off’ by his high salary either.
So, mixed signals from Italy on Mangala’s future, but it is clear he is on Napoli’s radar. AC Milan and Valencia have also been linked with the Jorge Mendes client in recent weeks, and he almost certainly has no future at the Etihad.