According to multiple reports in Italy, after looking a lock to end up at Anfield this summer, Liverpool target Piotr Zielinski is instead set for a move from Udinese to Napoli. Corriere dello Sport and La Gazetta dello Sport both believe negotiations are at an advanced stage, and that a player may have been offered to Udinese in part exchange.
Though rare in England, in Italy, player swaps are far more common, and La Gazetta dello Sport claim Napoli have offered Udinese their pick of Juan Zuniga, Christian Maggio, or Mirko Valdifiori on loan to get the deal done. Zielinski, who turned 22 in May, impressed this season while on loan at Empoli, scoring five goals and six assists in 36 total appearances.
The Polish international was heavily linked with a Liverpool move towards the end of the season, with reports in his homeland claiming a deal had been agreed in principle. Zielinski was even pictured wearing a Liverpool top. With Liverpool failing to secure European football for next season, though, Zielinski’s signing became less of a priority.
With Marko Grujic already arriving and rumours of continued interest in Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud, where the more attack-minded Zielinski would fit in next season became a question. As days turned to weeks and the deal that seemed so sure to get done wasn’t, it was a question that increasingly cast doubt on the transfer.
Zielinski is expected to cost Napoli between €14M and €16M in addition to potentially sending a player to Udinese on loan for the coming season.