Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis made a surprise announcement over the weekend, stating that the renewal of Victor Osimhen was in its final stages and that only the signature was missing. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the striker will stay put for the long haul.
Napoli exec Mauro Meluso addressed the rumors about other clubs being in the lead to capture Piotr Zielinski: "“It’s strange because we have been discussing with him for a while, and he expressed the desire to stay, obviously, should we reach an economic agreement."
It’s no use. Napoli failed once again – for the sixth time in six European encounters - to beat Real Madrid as they succumbed 4-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night. They held their own for 84 minutes, then a goal from 19-year-old Nico Paz made their resistance collapse. The Partenopei will thus need to wait two more weeks to get their ticket to the Champions League Round of 16.
Los Merengues had the last laugh with substitutes Nico Paz and Joselu maintaining their side's perfect record. So here are our player ratings for Napoli who will have to earn qualification in the final matchday after suffering a 2-4 defeat against Real Madrid.
Napoli striker Giovanni Simeone is pleased with the recent win over Atalanta and alluded to a potential transfer to La Liga in the future in an interview: "We showed something of last season’s Napoli. We’re starting a new path to fight for the first positions."
Several teams, including Juventus, Milan, and Inter, have taken notice of Claudio Echeverri, who turned heads during the recent U-17 World Cup. He had a hat-trick versus Brazil. A host of suitors have already lined up ahead of the next transfer windows, with Real Madrid leading the race.
José Mourinho and Roma could be in limbo until the end of the season, but the coach might not wait that long before pursuing a different landing spot. The Special One confirmed there’s no negotiation to prolong his contract at this stage. He'll start looking around in February.
Roma came within a hair’s width from acquiring Marcos Leonardo last summer. Santos ultimately decided to keep him as they had already sold other talents and were struggling in league play. The Giallorossi were very confident about the purchase being simply postponed after deadline day, but their optimism has progressively waned.
Denzel Dumfries is reportedly being eyed by Real Madrid ahead of a possible chase next summer. However, they’ll target him only if the Dutchman doesn’t extend his contract beforehand. He’s currently tied to Inter until 2025. The Nerazzurri have been in talks with his camp in recent weeks.
Lautaro Martinez has dismissed any notion of an exit from Inter, with Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid being heavily linked with the Nerazzurri striker. The 2022 World Cup winner was one of the attendees at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris for the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony, in which he finished in 20th position.
Portugal icon Pepe has entered the UEFA Champions League history books by becoming the oldest outfield player to appear in the competition, aged 40 years and 241 days. The former Real Madrid defender played the full 90 minutes in the 4-1 victory over Royal Antwerp.
Santiago Gimenez punished Lazio again on Wednesday, scoring his first two Champions League goals. He had hit the net three times in two games against the Biancocelesti in the second-tier continental competition last year, contributing to their demise in the group stage.