Danny Welbeck’s name has been in the news quite a lot lately - unfortunately for him for not scoring goals.
The Manchester United forward hasn’t hit the back of the net since early March - a barren run of eight appearances - and has become the subject of a slew of transfer rumours.
Last week The Guardian claimed that the 23-year-old was considering a future away from Old Trafford, disappointed with his opportunities under David Moyes.
Interest from Tottenham Hotspur was mooted, and even after Moyes was dismissed as United manager, Arsenal and Everton have been thrown into the mix by the English media.
The claims were a bit disconcerting, however, considering the £20 million price-tag put on Welbeck and his lifelong connection to United as a Manchester native.
But now a new alternative to the Red Devils has emerged in Italy, with Calciomercato reporting that Napoli are considering putting an offer in the region of £10 million for the England international.
The Partenopei’s interest is believed to have sparked from negotiations for Genk defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who is represented by the same management agency as Welbeck.
Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon is said to be intrigued by the Englishman’s versatility and could sanction a move soon to prevent World Cup success from driving up his fee.
The major hitch in a potential deal is that it’s unclear whether Welbeck would be open to leaving the Premier League, or even his current club at all.
In some sense, joining Napoli would seem a more palatable option for Welbeck, given his strong ties to the United shirt and his natural aversion to walking away for a direct rival.
And at the San Paolo he would be given Champions League football - something United, Spurs and quite likely Everton cannot offer.
However, leaving England would be a leap of faith of sorts, and with a new manager set to come in at Old Trafford, he may be fully inclined to stick with his boyhood team instead.
Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon reportedly asked to be kept updated on Welbeck’s thoughts on moving abroad, and it seems for now that all he can do is wait.
It would be something of a shock to see the 23-year-old plying his trade in Italy next season, but if Calciomercato’s claims are genuine, then it could be his best choice if he is indeed unconvinced about his future at United.