Napoli Leading Race For World Cup Phenom Azzedine Ounahi

Runaway Serie A leaders Napoli are reportedly at the head of the queue to land Moroccan World Cup sensation Azzedine Ounahi. Despite Barcelona’s genuine interest in the midfielder, the Italians are in a pole position to sign the sough-after Angers star, Mundo Deportivo says.

Ounahi played a starring role as Morocco became the first-ever African nation to reach the World Cup semifinals. Inspired by the energetic 22-year-old, Walid Regragui’s men made history in Qatar, but it also helped many of their lesser-known players hit the headlines. One of them is the highly-rated Angers man.

Franck Kessie’s inability to adapt to his new surroundings and Sergio Busquet entering the autumn of his playing career, Barcelona are in the market for a new midfielder. And while the Catalans have identified Ounahi as a potential target, they seem likely to miss out on his signature to Napoli.

As the frontrunners to sign one of the best-performing players in Qatar, the Partenopei would have to fork out around €20m to capture his services. Given today’s market prices, it’d be a bargain for Napoli, though at least four Premier League sides are reluctant to wave the white flag.

With Angers ready to sanction Ounahi’s departure, knowing it would represent a significant return on their initial investment, Napoli could make their move already in January. Despite dictating the pace in Serie A, Luciano Spalletti is all too aware a strength in depth could determine the title race.

And with Barcelona seemingly unable to go toe-to-toe with them due to their well-documented financial turmoil, Napoli could be running away with Ounahi’s signature this winter.