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Chelsea continuing to enquire about €60m-rated Elseid Hysaj, claims agent

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On again, off again, on again

SSC Napoli v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Group C Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Elseid Hysaj’s agent, Mario Guiffredi is once again sending mixed messages regarding his client’s future, and it’s becoming very hard to trust anything he actually says. That perhaps should be the baseline starting point for any agent declaration made in public, but Giuffredi seems to be more obvious about his agenting shenanigans than most who practice these dark arts.

Before this season, Hysaj had played all but one of his 246 professional career appearances under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri, first at Empoli, then at Napoli, for three seasons each. The rumors that linked Hysaj to Chelsea following his coach’s move there were thus entirely unsurprising. But Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis’s agile negotiating maneuvers meant that, as part of that deal, Chelsea agreed to not go after any Napoli players other than Jorginho, who was already set to leave anyway (and going to Manchester City, which is still amusing).

Hysaj’s agent recently confirmed that the non-belligerence clause was the only reason Hysaj had stayed, but by the same token, also reignited the Chelsea rumors. But a month later, Mr. Agent was hinting at a contract extension instead. Now, less than a week after that, the agent is once again talking up foreign interest. If these are the extent of his negotiating tactics, ADL’s going to eat him alive.

“Chelsea in for Hysaj? If you see Napoli are playing Malcuit and hear they’re looking at other players, it means there are also enquiries. Those who say otherwise are misinformed.

“Hysaj is a player who can do well in English football, given he’s very physical and being watched by big clubs. Is he worth €50m? He’s worth €60m for me.”

-Mario Guiffredi; source: Radio CRC via Football Italia

Hysaj, who may or may not have a €50m release clause, was one of the more vocally unhappy players at Napoli about Sarri leaving, and the 24-year-old probably wouldn’t mind continuing that 6-year relationship at Chelsea at some point in the future. He has started all but one of Napoli’s twelve league matches so far under Carlo Ancelotti, but has played in only two of their four Champions League games, starting only once.

Hysaj does have 2.5 years left on his contract, so if Napoli were to maximize his transfer value — and we wouldn’t expect anything less from them — selling this upcoming summer would be most ideal, probably. For Chelsea, he would represent a clear upgrade over Davide Zappacosta, at the very least, and his ability to play well on either flank would be most useful as well.