Leeds rocked by transfer news as Napoli look to tempt Jesse Marsch target into Serie A switch
Napoli are reportedly interested in signing Adama Traore, who has been a top Leeds United target for several months, on a free transfer.
The former Barcelona loanee has scored two goals in 14 appearances for Wolves this season but it seems Traore has no intention of staying at Molineux beyond the 2022/23 campaign.
According to Football Italia, Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti is keen on a move for Traore, which is a blow for Jesse Marsch who is a long-time admirer of the Spain winger.
It’s no secret that Napoli will be looking for a new right winger this season, especially if the highly-rated Hirving Lozano leaves the Stadio Maradona in the summer.
The Mexico international’s contract with the Italian club is due to expire in 2024 and talks over a new deal are allegedly yet to begin.
As stated by the report, Adama is not the only option for Napoli as their director Cristiano Giuntoli wants to sign Real Betis winger Luiz Henrique.
However, Henrique would likely be an expensive option as he is under contract at Betis until June 2028.
Traore, in comparison, is a safer move on a free transfer and has performed relatively consistently for Wolves in the Premier League.
In 168 appearances for the Molineux side, the winger has scored 13 goals and made 18 assists overall.
While this may not make for impressive reading, in his best season in 2019/20, Traore scored four times and added nine assists from 37 Premier League games.
This is the kind of form he will need to emulate if he does make the switch from Molineux to Italy.
Leeds still favourites to sign Traore despite Napoli interest
However, as previously reported by TEAMtalk, Leeds remain the most likely destination for the Spaniard.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano recently confirmed talks over a new contract with Wolves have reached a stalemate, and Leeds are the only ones who have made any real enquiries for the winger.
He said: “At the moment there’s nothing advanced with other clubs. But, Adama Traore could be a name to watch on the market because there’s not been much progress over talks for a new contract with Wolves.
“I personally think Leeds would be a very good move for him for their style of football.”
It’s definitely looking likely that Traore will be moving elsewhere next season.
While he has impressed at Wolves, there is a feeling that the 26-year-old is ready for a new challenge.
Leeds’ high-intensity, pacy style of football fits the job description for Traore – given he is one of the quickest players in the Premier League.
The only worry for Marsch is, however, that Napoli could be a more exciting move for him.
Spalletti’s side are currently eight points clear at the top of the Serie A and also have a place in the Champions League round of 16.
The potential for a title-winning season and European football is hard to refuse for any footballer and having Napoli and Barcelona on Traore’s CV makes for very impressive reading.
However, as things stand, Leeds remains the favourites for his signature. Although, there may be many more twists and turns to come before his contract expires in the summer.
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