Desperate times require desperate measures, as evidenced by the latest actions of Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis. With the club’s Serie A title defense in tatters, the film magnate has stepped up the recruitment program in the January transfer window.
Cyril Ngonge joined the club from Hellas Verona earlier this week, while Hamed Traore’s arrival from Bournemouth on loan offers Napoli an additional option in the front third. With headline forward Victor Osimhen away on international duty with Nigeria, under-pressure manager Walter Mazzarri needs all the help he can get.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Nottingham Forest midfielder Orel Mangala could be De Laurentiis’ third acquisition this winter. Contacts between Napoli and the Premier League outfit are underway after the reigning Scudetto holders tabled a contract proposal to the Belgium international.
Talks have reportedly intensified in recent hours, though there’s still a gap between the Italians’ bid and the player’s salary demands. Should Napoli bridge the distance, they would then need to trigger Mangala’s buyout clause to prise him away from the City Ground because the Tricky Trees aren’t enthusiastic about selling their prized asset.
However, in times of necessity, Napoli can’t afford to waste time on stalled negotiations. They need fresh blood to reinvigorate the faltering squad, and Mangala could be a decent option in the midfield. Mazzarri must reduce his side’s over-reliance on Stanislav Lobotka amidst Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s injury struggles.
Even if Napoli can close the deal quickly, Mangala wouldn’t join the squad in Saudi Arabia, unlike Ngonge and Traore.
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