Serie A’s burning questions for last week of January window

Lazio v Napoli - Serie A - Stadio Olimpico del Nuoto

Will Napoli hold on to Allan?

Paris St Germain have been enthralled with the Brazilian midfielder ever since they faced him in the group stage of the Champions League. The French club also have a great relationship with Napoli dating back to their deals for Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi and after offering to more than double what Allan currently makes, the player is quite intrigued by the move.

Napoli are notorious for being tough negotiators and considering they have no debt or Financial Fair Play issue, they can hold firm in demanding a Godfather like offer to let Allan go in January. Napoli have to also feel good about their great track record with finding midfielders on the market, Fabian Ruiz has been one of the best newcomers to Serie A this season and has ensured the midfield unit didn’t skip a beat despite Jorginho’s departure and Marek Hamsik being a year older.

Napoli have targeted Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella, Villareal’s Pablo Forlans and Celta Vigo’s Stanislav Lobotka as players who could help offset Allan’s departure. Considering that the former Udinese box to box midfielder is now 28 this would be the ideal time to sell and a massive transfer fee could make it easier to keep Koulibaly in the summer.

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Does Allegri trust Rugani enough to let Benatia leave?

Many assumed that Juventus policy of letting the player’s will reign supreme with transfer moves would end with Beppe Marotta’s departure. But despite the more aggressive stance on market that came with the Cristiano Ronaldo signing, it looks like the bianconeri will continue to be open to letting players who want to leave go.

The newest player to do is Mehdi Benatia, who has seen his role reduced after Leonardo Bonucci’s arrival. The Moroccan center back is pushing to join Qatari club Al Duhail who are offering him a rich contract. While Juventus tried to convince him to stay, they are now looking for veteran alternatives with old friend Martin Caceres as the favorite with Ivanovic and Skrtel as alternatives.

The fact that sporting director Paratici is looking for a veteran could be seen as a lack of faith in Daniele Rugani who has never started in a significant Champions League and tends to play against the lower table teams. The former Empoli defender has long been seen as a potential long term to Chiellini, but he wasn’t able to capitalize on the opportunities given to him during the season Bonucci spent at Milan.

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 Will Milan be able to further bolster Gattuso’s squad? 

Despite their strict Financial Fair Play parameters, the rossoneri have been able to add two expensive new additions in Paqueta and Piatek, whom they were able to pay in one installment. The rossoneri had the wiggle room to do so because of the significant savings on Higuain’s wages and the fact that Chelsea is paying half of the 18 million loan fee they owed Juventus for the Argentine striker.

While the moves they’ve made are already impressive, can Leonardo pull a rabbit out of his hat during the days of the Condor as they were called when his mentor Galliani used to run Milan’s mercato? The rossoneri are doing all they can to bring Yannick Carrasco back to Europe, but they can only acquire him on loan with option to buy and with the Belgian international taking a pay cut on his current wages.

 

Which wing back will return to Serie A?

 

They don’t call Italy “Il bel paese” (the beautiful country) for no reason. While players often leave Serie A to chase bigger pay checks, they are more than happy to return. This January we have seen Muriel, Gabbiadini, Sansone and Kucka come back and there’s a chance at least one between Matteo Darmian and Davide Zappacosta follows their path.

Lazio have been linked to Zappacosta for some time, but they are faced with some tough demands from Chelsea who are determined to include a forced option to buy in a potential loan deal. While Lazio maybe a bit more motivated to get a deal done now that Jordan Lukaku is heading to Newcastle, they will likely rely on Zappacosta’s agent Alessandro Lucci to work as a mediator with Chelsea to get better terms.

Darmian on the other hand has been a transfer target for Juventus dating back to his time at Torino, and now that Inter have closed the deal for Cedric Soares they are the only feasible Italian destination for him. So far Manchester United have been asking for a loan with financial considerations with a hefty option to buy to let Darmian, but now that there’s less of a market for him, they may just lower their demands.

 

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