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New head coach ‘could convince’ Emerson to join Napoli for €10m — report

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Reunion of sorts

Chelsea v FC Internazionale - International Champions Cup 2018 Photo by Claudio Villa - Inter/FC Internazionale via Getty Images

Chelsea left back Emerson Palmieri is looking more or less certain to be switching clubs this summer, with Juventus and Inter Milan reportedly willing to rekindle their interest, and now Napoli looking to once again join the fray as well.

A final day draw against Hellas Verona meant that Napoli missed out on Champions League football by one point this season, and so, despite an otherwise strong finish to the season (1 defeat in their final 16 games), head coach Gennaro Gattuso was sacked. His replacement is set to be the experienced Luciano Spalletti, last seen at Inter Milan a couple seasons ago.

Before then, Spalletti was the manager at AS Roma, where one of his players was a certain Emerson — it was that breakout season in 2016-17 that convinced Chelsea to fork up the €20m (plus €9m in potential add-ons) in fact.

Reports in Italy believe the reunion for half that amount could be on the cards, as Spalletti “could convince” Emerson while Napoli believe they would only need to pay around €10m. The Partenopei have also been linked with Davide Zappacosta, and are apparently looking to sell the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz to fund an overhaul.

Napoli’s task of convincing Chelsea to do business at that price won’t be easy, especially as Chelsea reportedly have an option to extend Emerson’s contract by a further year, giving us further leverage. Then again, considering that we’ve spent the last several years trying to de-bloat the squad, perhaps we shouldn’t be trying to negotiate so hard, however unnatural that may be for club director Granovskaia.