Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti has poured cold water on the prospect of Paulo Dybala’s arrival amid reports the Argentina international is set to join Serie A rivals Roma.
The Partenopei will have sizeable voids to make up for, with Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens, Faouzi Ghoulam and David Ospina all following Lorenzo Insigne to the exit since the end of last season.
Napoli and Roma emerged as Dybala’s likeliest destinations after talks with Inter broke down, with fans even voicing their displeasure towards Spalletti at the lack of transfer activity during an address as preparations for the new season continued over the weekend.
Speaking after his side’s 4-1 friendly win against Perugia on Sunday, the 63-year-old said he believes Dybala’s wage demands make him an unrealistic target, though the club will be looking to move as the dust settles elsewhere in the market.
“I read that there are several teams in for him, [but] he wants a high contract,” Spalletti said. “And probably his demands are [too] high for the moment for a club who has to think about it.
“Certainly we are thinking of some integration of the squad, but the market tells us that many moves will be made at the last moment given the long period in which negotiations take place.
“It is clear that the fans want to see quality. We have only one means at our disposal, that of showing personality and technique when we enter the field.”
It ends #NapoliPerugia 4-1!
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) July 17, 2022
Koulibaly, who signed for Chelsea on Saturday, might not be the last player to leave Naples before the start of the season, with Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano also linked to moves elsewhere.
Spalletti tried to remove polemics from their respective situations, insisting they will flourish at Napoli if they stay.
“Victor has to find the best condition, but we know what his great potential is and we will work to bring out his qualities,” he said.
“If Politano remains and gives us his important contribution like last year, we are all happy.”
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