After seeing the effect of Kim Min-jae (27), Napoli is pushing to sign Japanese players.
According to Italy’s Tuttosport, Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis appeared on Italian broadcaster Rai 3 and said, “That’s what we’re doing now,” referring to the signing of Japanese soccer players. “When I came here, a Japanese friend told me that he would send me a draft contract to scout in Japan,” he said.
Napoli’s prospects were unclear after losing key players such as Kalidou Koulibaly (32, Chelsea), Lorenzo Insigne (32, Toronto FC), Dries Mertens (36, Galatasaray),먹튀검증 and Fabian Luiz (27, Paris Saint-Germain) all at once before the season.
However, Napoli went on to win the Serie A title for the first time in 33 years with the addition of Kim Min-jae, Hvitsa Kvarachelia, Jambo Anguissa, Matias Olivera, Giovanni Simeone, and Giacomo Raspadori.
Kim Min-jae in particular had a successful season as he not only perfectly replaced Koulibaly, who was considered one of the best defenders in the world, but surpassed him. He has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League this summer, including Manchester United.
With Kim Min-jae’s departure a certainty, Napoli are looking for a new Asian player. With Kim Min-jae, the club has seen the benefits of having an Asian player, not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of marketing. Lee Kang-in (22, Mallorca) and Hwang In-beom (27, Olympiacos) have also been mentioned as possible targets for Napoli.
This is why De Laurentiis is targeting Japanese players. The Asian market sends more players to Europe than any other, and he believes it would be easier to market them through corporate sponsorships.
“De Laurentiis hasn’t mentioned any specific targets,” said Japan’s Soccer Digest, citing Italy’s Il Corriere del Pallone, “but the names of Kaoru Mitoma (26, Brighton), Takefusa Kubo (22, Real Sociedad), Doan Ritsu (25, Freiburg), Go Itakura (26, Borussia Mönchengladbach) and Hidemasa Morita (28, Sporting CP) have been mentioned.
“We don’t know if Napoli will actually sign a Japanese player, or which one,” the outlet added, “but what’s certain is that even if the deal goes through, he won’t be able to work with a winning manager. President De Laurentiis had earlier effectively announced Luciano Spalletti’s departure.”
In fact, De Laurentiis said of Spalletti: “He is a free man,” suggesting that he will not be in charge next season.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Goal.com reported that Japan international Daichi Kamada is set to join AC Milan, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. Kamada will leave on a free transfer after rejecting Frankfurt’s offer to extend his contract.
He had been targeted by Napoli, Dortmund, Benfica, and AC Milan, among others, but he ultimately chose Milan. According to the article, Kamada and Milan have reached a verbal agreement and will undergo a medical in a week. The contract reportedly runs through 2028. In total, Kamada has scored 16 goals and provided seven assists in 46 games this season. In the Bundesliga, he scored nine goals in 32 games.