Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Soccer: Napoli land Albiol, set for transfer spree


(By Paul Virgo)
Naples, July 17 - Chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis
said Wednesday that Napoli were buying Spain defender Raul
Albiol from Real Madrid and added that he was in talks to sign
Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain from the Spanish giants.
De Laurentiis also confirmed he was trying to land
Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao from Internacional of Porto
Alegre with the club set to go on a big transfer spree in the
closed season.
The chairman revealed that the club had a
124.5-million-euro transfer budget after the sale of Uruguay
striker Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain.
When asked by a fan via Twitter what he would do with the
money raised from the Cavani move, De Laurentiis replied that
"64.5 (from the transfer) plus the 60 million I'd put in the
budget make 124.5 to invest in Napoli with diligence and
As regards 27-year-old Albiol, De Laurentiis said "he's
doing the medical (for the transfer). Let's hope he passes".
De Laurentiis wants to give new coach Rafa Benitez a team
capable of challenging for the Serie A title and enjoying a
strong run in the Champions League.
Napoli qualified for Europe's premier club competition by
finishing second behind champions Juventus last season under
Walter Mazzarri, who has moved to the Inter Milan bench.
Cavani will be a hard act to follow as he scored 104 goals
in all competitions for Napoli after moving from Palermo in
Benitez said the two-time Italian champions are not looking
for one single player to provide the same number of goals Cavani
did, but want to strengthen their attack as a whole with several
They have already signed former Espanyol and Real Madrid
attacking midfielder-cum-striker Jose Maria Callejon and
Belgium winger Dries Mertens.
These players join the attacking talent Napoli already has,
including Slovakia captain Marek Hamsik and Macedonia's Goran
"All the teams are trying to improve (with transfer-market
dealings)," said former Valencia, Liverpool, Inter and Chelsea
boss Benitez.
"But Napoli have a competitive squad and it will be
increasingly more so.
"We have a double challenge in the Champions League and
Serie A and we want to give our all on both fronts.
"We want to be at our best to compete at high levels,"
added the Spanish coach.
"We aren't looking for a striker who will score 40 goals (a
season) because it will be difficult to find one.
"But we have a group of strikers in the squad capable of
"We want to score more goals than last season, maybe by
having more strikers score goals.
"The important thing is to get the players that we want,
not just prestigious ones with big names.
"For example, I think Callejon can score between 10 and 20
goals (a season)".
Napoli are also reportedly in talks to sign Brazil keeper
Julio Cesar from relegated English side Queens Park Rangers.

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