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Napoli set to buy Chalobah, despite barely playing him

Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Chelsea loanee Nathaniel Chalobah has a grand total of 202 competitive minutes to his name so far this season, yet it appears that Napoli are happy enough with the 21-year-old's time at the club that they're willing to plunk down €4m to acquire him permanently as well.  So reports Wednesday's edition of Gazzetta dello Sport.

Given Chalobah's repeated gushing about his life in Italy and the club's support of the player in tough times such as the very recent passing of his mother, it's perhaps not surprising that they would tender the offer of a full, permanent contract.

"It's a sad day. We dedicate the win [vs. Sassuolo] to Nathaniel Chalobah, who lost his mother. The team was really shaken by what happened, he is a wonderful lad."

-Maurizio Sarri, manager; source: Mail

Sarri isn't the world's greatest human being, it would appear, but his words of support were no doubt still appreciated.  Napoli held a minute's silence before that match as well.  Clearly, the older of the Chalobah siblings (16-year-old Trevoh is currently in the Chelsea U18s) is very much part of the Neapolitan side already.

The €4m fee probably stems from the rumored buy-option clause that was reported by Di Marzio in the summer, though others disagreed about its existence and there was no official confirmation either way from either side.  The fee does sound rather minuscule, though without much success to show during his failed loan spell at then-Premier League Burnley last season and his distinct lack of actual involvement at Napoli this season, it's hard to say that we could push for much more.

There were some hints in the summer that if Napoli were to take up their option, we would then have a buy-back option for the future as well.  If true, this could be a smart bit of business for a once very highly promising youngster.

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