Napoli want Barcelona midfielder Pjanic on loan – Sport

Napoli are interested in signing former Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic on loan, according to reports in Spain.

The Bosnia midfielder is contracted to Barcelona but spent the past season on loan Turkish side Besiktas, where he made 23 appearances in all competitions.

Sport report he will return to Barca at the end of the season but does not feature in manager Xavi’s plans and Luciano Spalletti will look to the 32-year-old as Napoli made a return to the Champions League.

Pjanic moved to Barca from Juve in 2020 but struggled to fit in during a transitional season under Ronald Koeman.

He first moved to Italy in 2011 when he joined Roma from Lyon and soon established himself as one of the finest midfielders in the division.

Juve signed him in 2016 and he became an important member of the side which won Serie A and the Coppa Italia and reached the Champions League final in his first season.

He won two more league titles before leaving for Barcelona.

Besiktas

Spalletti discusses Napoli summer transfers

Luciano Spalletti admits ‘someone will try to take Napoli players away’, but the club is ‘already working’ to strengthen the team.

Today, the Tuscan tactician held a press conference with Aurelio De Laurentiis to unveil the pre-season retreat, which will take place at Dimaro in July.

Spalletti answered a question about Napoli’s transfers without going into much detail.

“We are trying to reinforce the team. Somebody will try to take Napoli players away and we’ll have to organise the team with important ambitions,” he said.

“We are already working, we’ll see which opportunities we’ll have. I will remain in love with the team regardless of everything.”

De Laurentiis confirmed that Napoli’s first signing would be Zambo Anguissa, who will complete a permanent move to the Stadio Maradona after his loan spell from Fulham.

Napoli: ADL confirms Anguissa’s permanent move from Fulham

Spezia vs. Napoli Predictions & Betting Tips

The final day of the Serie A season is here as we look ahead to Sunday afternoon in these Spezia vs. Napoli predictions. Neither side has anything to play for this weekend, so the action at the Stadio Alberto Picco may be little more than an exhibition.

Spezia vs. Napoli odds

1 – Napoli to win – 7/12

2 – Over 2.5 goals – 8/15

3 – Napoli to keep a clean sheet – 9/5

4 – Osimhen to score first – 4/1

5 – Insigne to score anytime – 6/5

Napoli travel to the Stadio Alberto Picco on Sunday perhaps wishing that the season would last just a little longer. The Partenopei have been in scintillating form over the past few weeks, but will have little to show for it come the end of the Serie A season this week. 

The campaign has not gone as well for Thiago Motta’s Spezia side, although they will be glad to have safely avoided relegation with one game to go. Last week’s dramatic win at Udinese ensured the Aquilotti will be in Serie A next season, although will have done little to reassure their doubters. 

With third place guaranteed, there may be little motivation for Napoli to play to their best this weekend, but even at half speed their quality is expected to ensure the win. Spezia surprised their rivals with a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture, but it is Luciano Spalletti’s side who we tip to take the three points this time around. 

The evidence of the past few games shows two teams in opposing form. Even with their recent win, Spezia have conceded two goals or more in their last five Serie A fixtures. Against a Napoli side averaging 1.9 scored per game, a bet on over 2.5 goals could pay off. 

That said, the visitors have a highly impressive defensive record, with just one goal conceded across their last three games. The Spezia front line may have improved in recent weeks, but a bet on Napoli to keep a clean sheet still has a good chance of being a winner. 

With their defence looking solid, Spalletti’s front line should thrive at the Stadio Alberto Picco. Victor Osimhen was on the scoresheet once again last week to improve on his goal tally for last season. The Nigerian is our tip to score first on Sunday, while outgoing Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne is worth a punt to mark his final appearance for the club with a goal. 

How to stream Spezia vs. Napoli

You can stream Spezia vs. Napoli live by placing funds in a bet365 account, or place a bet within 24 hours of kick-off. You can also use an ExpressVPN account to tune in from anywhere in the world. To sign up and claim three months extra free: 

  • Head to expressvpn.com
  • Click ‘Get the #1 Rated VPN’
  • Choose your plan
  • Enter email address and payment details
  • Click ‘Join Now’ and download app

Spezia vs. Napoli last five matches

Spezia last five matches

Napoli last five matches

Spezia top goalscorers

Napoli top goalscorers

Spezia vs. Napoli line-ups

Spezia (4-2-3-1): Provedel; Amian, Erlic, Nikolaou, Ferrer; Maggiore, Kiwior; Verde, Agudelo, Gyasi; Manaj.

Napoli (4-2-3-1): Musso; Di Lorenzo, Rahmani, Koulibaly, Rui; Anguissa, Ruiz; Lozano, Mertens, Insigne; Osimhen.

Spezia team news

Ebrime Colley, Leo Sena and Petko Hristov are all major doubts for Sunday’s game and are unlikely to feature. Simone Bastoni is also out, meaning another start for Jakub Kiwior in central midfield. Thiago Motta may hand a start to Salvador Ferrer after the full-back impressed against Udinese. 

Napoli team news

No changes are expected from Spalletti for this weekend’s match. With nothing to play for, the Azzurri coach may opt to hand opportunities to the likes of Diego Demme and Andrea Petagna, who have lost their spots in their Napoli starting XI of late. 

Napoli: ADL confirms Anguissa’s permanent move from Fulham

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirms André Zambo Anguissa will remain at Napoli next season.

The Cameroon international moved to the Stadio Maradona on loan with an option to buy from Fulham last summer and has been one of the standout performers for the Partenopei this season.

Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti has been pushing for his permanent signing and Napoli chairman De Laurentiis has confirmed that the 26-year-old will remain at the club next season.

“Anguissa will remain for sure, but I can’t tell you everything we have in mind,” De Laurentiis told journalists at a press conference today, answering a question about the club’s transfer strategies.

Napoli will pay circa €15m to sign the midfielder permanently from Fulham.

ADL met Spalletti on Monday to plan the summer transfer window. The Partenopei will prepare for 2022-23 with a training retreat at Dimaro from July 9 to 19. Today, De Laurentiis and Spalletti held a press conference to discuss the team’s pre-season with the media.

“There will be some friendly matches, as usual, and we’ll have the chance to welcome more than 1,000 fans in the stands,” said De Laurentiis.

“Hopefully, there won’t be limitations, we want to entertain the fans.

“It will be a retreat dedicated to the psycho-physical reconstruction of the whole football movement since we are coming out of two years not very edifying for everyone. When I watch games like Man City vs. Real Madrid, I have a heart full of joy and I hope Italian football can return to certain levels.

“Someone said that Serie A’s level has scaled down, but this season has been fought until the end and this is something new. If it were so easy to win one, one would always do it. Someone did it in the past [Juventus], but things have changed for them.”

Spalletti urges Napoli to extend with Ospina amid Madrid interest

Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti wants David Ospina to stay at the club, extending his expiring contract, but Carlo Ancelotti is determined to bring the Colombia international to Madrid.

Ospina’s current deal at the Stadio Maradona runs out in the summer and the Partenopei didn’t seem willing to extend the goalkeeper’s stay at the club, mainly due to his age: 33 years old. However, Spalletti trusts Ospina and doesn’t want him to leave the club in the summer. Therefore, he has demanded the club offer a new contract to the Colombia international.

Ospina has been the regular starter in Serie A for Napoli this season, while Alex Meret, 25, played in Europa League.

According to Il Corriere dello Sport, Ospina has attracted interest from Real Madrid, Atalanta and Lazio. Ancelotti already coached the former Arsenal man in Naples and is determined to bring him to the Bernabeu, where he would become a back-up for Thibaut Courtois.

If Ospina eventually remains at the club, Meret will ask to leave. The two goalkeepers are on good terms, but Meret’s agent Federico Pastorello has recently clarified that his client will look elsewhere if he isn’t guaranteed a starting spot next season.

epa09297696 Colombia's goalkeeper David Ospina warms up prior to the Copa America 2021 group B soccer match between Brazil and Colombia at the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 23 June 2021. EPA-EFE/ANTONIO LACERDA

Arsenal to miss out on Serie A stars without Champions League football

Paulo Dybala and Victor Osimhen have been linked with a move to Arsenal, but both players are unlikely to move to the Emirates Stadium without Champions League football.

Mikel Arteta has been on the lookout for a new striker for several months and both Dybala and Osimhen have held talks with the Gunners over the last few weeks.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reported in April that Osimhen was open to joining the Gunners, but only if they qualified for the Champions League. However, the Premier League side is now two points behind Antonio Conte’s Tottenham in fourth place with just one game remaining.

Osimhen is not the only Serie A star who would reject the chance to sign with the Gunners if they fail to qualify for Europe’s elite competition.

Today’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Dybala is also unwilling to sign with them if they don’t snatch a top-four finish this season. The Argentinean will leave Juventus at the end of his contract in June and Inter are in advanced talks to secure his services.

Arsenal face Newcastle and Brentford competition for Bologna starlet Hickey

A bidding war is breaking out for Bologna left-back Aaron Hickey, as Arsenal seemed close to a deal, but face competition from Newcastle United and Brentford.

Milan and Napoli had shown interest in the Scotland international, but won’t be able to compete with the salaries on offer in the Premier League.

It would also be an opportunity for Hickey to move closer to home after two years in Italy.

Hickey turns 20 in June and was signed from Hearts in the summer of 2020 for €1.7m.

This has been his best season so far with five goals and an assist in 35 Serie A appearances.

There had been reports over the last few days in Italy that Arsenal had already done a deal worth €20-25m including bonuses.

However, Mail Sport now maintain that a bidding war has erupted with Newcastle United and Brentford joining in to threaten Arsenal’s hold on Hickey.

He had been close to Bayern Munich in 2019, but wanted a move where he would be guaranteed regular playing time to aid his development, which was certainly provided by Bologna.

Plusvalenze case appeal thrown out of court

The FIGC has seen its appeal thrown out of court, as the Plusvalenze scandal again collapsed with all clubs and directors cleared of all charges.

The entire basis of the investigation and accusations, that players were being traded at inflated prices to help balance the books or make it look as if assets were worth more than on the open market, proved to be fatally flawed.

As the first court verdict pointed out, there is no objective way of calculating the ‘true’ worth of a player other than what one club is willing to pay another for his services.

With that in mind, the very idea of punishing clubs with fines or even docked points became impossible.

The Federation lodged an appeal against that sentence and that too was thrown out today, so the Plusvalenze saga – translated as Capital Gains – is now effectively over.

The clubs involved were Juventus, Napoli, Genoa, Sampdoria, Parma, Empoli, Pescara, Chievo, Pro Vercelli, Pescara, Pisa and Novara.

FIGC

Napoli coach Spalletti makes Koulibaly decision amid Barcelona interest

Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti wants Kalidou Koulibaly to remain at the club and is ready to offer the Senegal international the captain’s armband, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 30-year-old sees his contract expire in June 2023, but talks over a new deal at the club have led nowhere so far. Napoli want to spread his current salary onto a lengthier contract, but his agent has already turned down an offer from the club.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Spalletti met Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis yesterday and, among other things, he demanded the club to keep hold of Koulibaly.

Barcelona make contact with Koulibaly’s agent after Christensen deal

With Lorenzo Insigne leaving for Toronto, Spalletti wants the Senegal star to become Napoli’s captain from next season and is pushing for his renewal. However, if the Partenopei fail to reach an agreement with their star defender, they may be forced to sell him in the summer to avoid losing him on a free transfer in 2023.

Spanish newspaper AS has recently reported that Barcelona have already approached the player’s entourage and that Koulibaly is open to moving to the Nou Camp. However, the La Liga giants have not reached an agreement with Napoli, who value Koulibaly at €40m.

Video: Napoli’s Insigne, Spalletti, Koulibaly on stage at Gianna Nannini concert

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti, along with players Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly were on stage for a Gianna Nannini concert in the city on Monday.

The trio were fresh from securing a third-place finish with a 3-0 win over Genoa the day previous in what was Insigne’s last home match for his boyhood club.

Napoli tweeted a video of them on stage at the Teatro Augusteo in Naples as they kicked footballs into the crowd to keep as souvenirs.