Azzedine Ounahi’s impressive World Cup performances did little to hurt his stock, as Morocco reached the semi-finals last month for the first time in their history. Napoli, one of many European clubs interested in Ounahi’s signature, have reportedly made an offer to Angers of €15m plus bonuses. But, in the face of the Ligue 1 team’s the demands, the Azzurri will not employ desperate transfer tactics to secure his signature, per Ignazio Genuardi.
The Neapolitans will find themselves in competition with Premier League sides Leeds United and Leicester City if they wish to sign the young Moroccan midfielder. But Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis has limited capital flexibility, and cannot afford to enter costly bidding wars. But with Napoli seven points clear at the top of Serie A, Ounahi may well see his future in Naples regardless. Back at Angers, his side are currently bottom of Ligue 1, having registered just two wins in 17 games. The allure of both Italian glory and potential European football next season may be too much to miss.
The situation at Leeds and Leicester is only marginally more promising than back in France: both sides sit just two points above the relegation zone, and just five off the bottom. If a club is to attract Ounahi’s signature in the coming weeks, Angers will demand that a commensurate fee be paid. If their demands are too high, Angers may finish by selling him in summer for a discounted fee, if they are to be relegated to Ligue 2.
GFFN | Brendan Cox