Prominent ex-coach: Song and Sagna 'would change things'

Former Napoli boss Gianni Di Marzio believes the club ought to be targeting the pair with ties to the Emirates.

Partenopei owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has already made clear that he is prepared to spend in January to increase the side’s depth ahead of the stretch run.

The declaration has seen the southern Italians linked with a score of names in defence and midfield, the two areas in which coach Rafael Benitez requires signings to galvanise the squad.

Genoa’s Luca Antonelli has reportedly already been put under lock and key ahead of January in an €8 million deal, whilst Napoli remain keen on Marseille’s Nicolas N’Koulou despite the player’s desire to stay at the Stade Velodrome and Maxime Gonalons of Lyon has been constantly paired with a San Paolo switch.

Yet, Di Marzio isn’t convinced that such targets would raise the overall quality of the Vesuviani by an adequate margin to compete for the Serie A title. 

“With these players in the squad it would improve, but not by much,” he told Radio Kiss Kiss. “They are good players but do not make the difference.”

He has instead highlighted Alex Song and Bacary Sagna as would-be impact signings.

“Someone like the Cameroonian Song of Barcelona would change things, as would Arsenal’s Sagna, who is out of a contract.”

Napoli have been mentioned alongside both men in view of the winter transfer window, though developments on the situation in regards to their possible arrivals in Italy have yet to produce a clear picture.

Sagna’s contract with the Gunners expires at the end of the season as negotiations on a renewal are ongoing, whilst the Frenchman admitted to beIN Sport earlier this week that a January exit from north London is conceivable.

At the Camp Nou, Song continues to struggle for playing time following his £15 million move to Barcelona from Arsenal in August 2012, finding his first team opportunities stunted by the presence of Sergio Busquets in the holding midfield role.

Napoli invested upwards of £50 million in their attack over the summer to bring in Gonzalo Higuain, Jose Callejon, Dries Mertens and Duvan Zapata, but spent considerably less elsewhere and now must balance the squad.

Sagna could be had for relatively nominal fee considering his contract situation at the Emirates, a circumstance sporting director Riccardo Bigon would do well to exploit as bringing in Song simultaneously would require a considerable offer to Barcelona.

Arsenal have been linked with a shock move for their former midfielder, and though such reports may not hold water, bring up the point that Napoli would experience healthy competition to secure his services.

Di Marzio’s statement has loudly voiced a primary concern of many Partenopei supporters, that De Laurentiis must look to construct an outfit of considerable quality from back to front if silverware is to be won.

This pursuit will call for further cash to be laid out, though it remains to be seen whether the ex-coach’s call will be heeded come January or Gonalons and company will be the men unveiled at the San Paolo next month.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch