It is not a secret that Napoli need to find a new starting goalkeeper looking towards the 2018-19 season. Pepe Reina is set to join AC Milan, so the Serie A giants must take a deep look at the market to see which players might be available.
One of the strongest alternatives was Claudio Bravo, who currently performs at the back-up of Ederson at Manchester City, but his age and elevated wage could become a problem for Napoli. Instead, the Italian side has set their sights on Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio from Sporting CP, according to A Bola.
It seems as if Napoli have chosen the Sporting star to take over the starting duties from Reina, and if the move materialises, then they couldn’t have found a better alternative between the posts. Rui Patricio has a lot of experience under his belt, since he has played in both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League countless times with the Lisbon-based side.
In addition to that, he was also the starting goalkeeper during both the 2016 title-winning EURO Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup for Portugal. The aforementioned report from A Bola even indicated that Napoli are now readying the first formal proposal to Sporting.
One problem could be the money, though. It is believed that Napoli plan to offer between €15M and €20M for the 30-year-old, but Sporting are holding out for €35 million and seem unwilling to lower down their stance.
It seems the ball is on Sporting’s court. But considering that chairman Bruno de Carvalho wants to cash in on the player before it’s too late, it seems Patricio will be playing elsewhere during the 2018-19 campaign. And Napoli seem clear favourites to acquire him.