Several reports claim former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is interested in signing Reds right-back Glen Johnson and Manchester City midfielder James Milner for Serie A giants Napoli.
The rumours have come a little out of left field, but the Mirror has suggested a reason for the interest which relates to price and difficulty in targeting higher profile, more expensive players.
“Out of the Champions League and seventh in Serie A, Napoli are targeting January reinforcements who would not require large transfer fees,” reports the Mirror.
Johnson is facing a difficult season at Liverpool due to the impact of loan signing Javi Manquillo and the potential of talented young full-back John Flanagan.
Manquillo has started life at Anfield well after joining the side on an initial two-year loan deal over the summer while Flanagan will be in and around the first team when he’s fully recovered from injury.
Napoli’s apparent interest in Milner is more difficult to get to grips with.
Milner is thought to want a new contract at Manchester City so it will be tough for Napoli to wrestle over a deal when the player has no obvious desire and motive for wanting to move away.
However, the interest is understandable from a playing point of view; he’s extremely versatile and a reliable midfield man.
The cheapness of each deal relates to their current contract situations at each club and reports seem to be based on a gamble that neither player will sign a new deal with their sides.
That would leave Liverpool and City in a position where they have to cut them loose and sell to try and get a fee for fear of them walking away for nothing when there current deals expire.
It’s difficult to see either move happening and the cheapness of each deal applies to other more realistic destinations as much as it does for Napoli.