Erik Lamela has reportedly been outlined as a priority target for Napoli as his Tottenham career seems to be coming to a close.
Lamela has been with Tottenham since joining from Roma in 2013. He has made more than 250 appearances for Spurs in that time. But now, it seems he is closing in on a return to Italy. There is only one year left on his contract in north London and a move away makes sense.
Serie A seems to be the most likely destination. There were rumours that he could follow Jose Mourinho and return to his former club. Alternatively, Bologna became a possibility due to the presence of sporting director Walter Sabatini, who previously signed him for Roma.
But now, Napoli have emerged as strong contenders for his signature. According to Corriere Dello Sport, Lamela is the man they will pursue if they sell club captain Lorenzo Insigne this summer.
Insigne is out of contract in 2022 and has been linked with an exit. Napoli would not want to lose him for free so may have to reluctantly cash in.
It will be hard for them to replace Insigne, but they are already drawing up contingency plans. The Italian newspaper names Lamela as their primary option.
The Argentine appeals because of his experience and Napoli believe they can offer him the platform he craves. Lamela has only started five Premier League games this season and wants more continuity.
If Insigne leaves Napoli, there will be a space in their squad for him to do just that. Therefore, a move could be in everyone’s best interests.
It is not clear how much Tottenham might ask for to sell a player they originally signed for £30m. His market value has dropped since then but Spurs will still want a decent deal.
Tottenham in three-way battle
Meanwhile, Spurs are also thinking about the signings they could make this summer.
Just like Napoli, they find themselves in a situation where their captain only has one year left on his contract. There are doubts over whether Hugo Lloris will sign an extension or move on.
If he does leave, Tottenham will need to find a replacement. A number of goalkeepers have already been linked but one newer option has now emerged.
It seems to be the ideal time for the player in question to move, but Spurs would have to beat interest from two other clubs to get their man.