Napoli Set to Name New Captain

Napoli are assessing the possibility of handing the captain’s armband over to Kalidou Koulibaly once Lorenzo Insigne’s switch to Toronto is completed. According to the Corriere dello Sport, the Partenopei consider offering their long-term stalwart a new deal before making him a new captain. 

Insigne will wave goodbye to his boyhood club at the end of the season and complete his blockbuster move to Major League Soccer. The winger’s departure will require Napoli to entrust someone else with the captain’s armband, and Koulibaly has emerged as the likeliest candidate to take over the responsibility. 

Dries Mertens has also been mentioned as a potential short-term caretaker. However, his contract at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium is up in the summer, with Napoli reportedly reluctant to tie their all-time highest scorer down to a new deal. 

With the Belgian seemingly heading towards the exit door, there aren’t many suitable candidates to fill the vacancy. Fabian Ruiz would undoubtedly be the one to keep an eye on, but there’s a feeling that the Spaniard could leave Naples for a high-profile move in the summer.

So it is likely to be Koulibaly. The 30-year-old defender has less than two years left to run on his current contract. But even though Napoli considered selling their prized asset at one point in 2021, no one ever came close to matching their €100m asking price.

Despite his infamous bust-up with the Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis last year, Koulibaly has grown into one of the Partenopei symbols over the past decade. And since not many European sides can meet his current €80m price tag, he is increasingly likely to stay put on the south coast.