Napoli have reportedly made Shkodran Mustafi their preferred replacement for Kostas Manolas.
Shkodran Mustafi has been having a difficult window since his release by Schalke after a loan spell that wouldn’t have convinced a pub team to sign him. Recently, however, his name has been appearing more and more often in the rumour mills.
Mostly, the reports have involved Mustafi not being able to find an agreement with a Serie A side because he wants too much money. He’s asking for between €1.4m and €1.9m-per-year depending on which reports you read. Genoa were said to be close to an agreement, but his wages were proving problematic. Dialogue was still taking place, however.
Then, on Saturday, it was reported in Italy that Napoli had made Mustafi their preferred option should Manolas leave the club. He is rumoured to want a return to Olympiacos. Manolas left Olympiacos in 2014 to join AS Roma before signing for Napoli in 2019.
The 30-year-old still has three years left on his current deal with Napoli and, with a value of around £20m, it seems highly unlikely he will get his wish. There is simply no way Olympiacos will pay anything close to that to re-sign him. Having watched them get linked with tons of Arsenal players over the years, they can rarely afford anybody. The most they’ve ever paid for a player is £12.15m, and that was over 20 years ago. The most they’ve spent on a single player in the last 10 years is £6.3m.
So, while there is no doubt that Napoli would be better able to pay Mustafi closer to what he’s asking for than Genoa, there is no way the Greeks can afford the man who has to leave to open the door for the former Arsenal man.
It looks like he will have to head back to Genoa and perhaps consider lowering his demands.