22-year-old West Ham transfer miss set to become Higuain understudy at Napoli

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Could Duvan Zapata, who has also attracted interest from QPR, be on his way to play for Napoli?

It seems like this summer Italian outfit Napoli have just been, going round trying to tick off Premier League clubs.

First they took Gonzalo Higuain from under the noses of Arsenal then snapped away Pepe Reina from Liverpool.

Now they are jumping in the graves of another English team - one that seemingly did everything in their power to snap up a talented 22-year-old Colombian.

It was only last month that West Ham United looked to be on the brink of snapping up Colombian under-20 international Duvan Zapata, from Argentine outfit Estudiantes.

The powerful striker had just come off the back of a sterling debut season, as a fully-fledged member of the Argentine club side - and been banging in the goals as well.

With that in mind plenty of teams began to sniff around - but The Hammers seemed to have jumped to the front of the queue and had a bid, believed to be around £3.3 million, accepted by the club for his signature.

But despite this agreement, and an apparent will on Zapata’s part to make the switch to London, the deal collapsed.

Zapata did not meet the criteria to obtain a Work Permit; therefore he was left without the chance if playing in the UK.

West Ham appealed that he was an outstanding talent, but to no avail - the plug on this deal was pulled permanently a week ago.

Whether it is work permit issues that complicated the deal or not is still up for debate. The fact QPR are now in the running suggests otherwise or naivety - but we will have to wait and see on that one.

But obtaining a Work Permit to play in Italy is a much easier process than here in the UK.

Now that Napoli are circling the only thing likely to change will be the price - with Estudiantes likely to ask for the wealthy Campanians to pay a little premium on the talent.

If his deal does go through he is expected to provide cover for Gonzalo Higuain - and West Ham fans will be in the same position as Arsenal fans are when watching Napoli play.

Hoping their striker has a mare.

image: © chilangoco

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