Napoli Edging Closer to Signing Bundesliga Defender

Napoli have reportedly made significant progress in talks with Borussia Monchengladbach over center-back Ko Itakura. As per Sky Sport Germany, the Partenopei have whittled down the gap between their valuation of the Japanese defender and Gladbach’s asking price to a minimum. 

Itakura’s potential arrival is intended to soften the blow after relinquishing Kim Min-jae’s services. In light of the Korean’s imminent transfer to Bayern Munich, Napoli are frantically searching for a new defensive leader to mitigate the damage. Led by the 26-year-old’s example, they’ve laid their prying eyes on another Asian star.

Negotiations between Napoli and Gladbach are off and running. But there was an initial discrepancy between the Italians’ offer and the Germans’ requirements. However, Rudi Garcia’s men have bridged the gap. Their latest bid worth around €12 million falls barely short of Borussia’s €15m valuation.

Such a minor difference should allow ongoing discussions to continue forward with optimism. From Itakura’s point of view, a move to Napoli would be a realization of his dreams. But for the Partenopei, the Japanese’s arrival is more of a contingency plan after being priced out of deals for other defensive targets.

Despite receiving €50m from Min-jae’s switch to Bayern, the defending Serie A champions won’t rush into reckless spending. As such, their hopes of landing Real Sociedad’s Robin Le Normand and Wolverhampton’s Max Kilman are as good as dead. Both players have lofty price tags pinned to their shoulders, with Napoli reluctant to come near those figures.

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