Genoa are exploring a deal to sign Nikola Maksimovic after Napoli turned to Juan Jesus to replace the rumoured West Ham and Crystal Palace target, according to Calciomercato.
Genoa are the latest side to sound out their chances of signing Maksimovic after he left Napoli in June. The Stadio Diego Armando Maradona outfit chose against renewing the centre-half’s contact after five-years in Naples, including an initial loan.
Napoli had started to consider bringing Maksimovic back as a late window reinforcement for new manager Luciano Spalletti. But the Azzurri have elected to pursue Jesus instead, with Sky Italia reporting the Brazilian is set for a medical after agreeing to personal terms.
Like Maksimovic, Roma released Jesus at the end of last season to end his five-year stay at the Stadio Olimpico. The Brazilian has now agreed to join Napoli on a one-year contract to replace the Serbian and work under Spalletti.
Napoli’s decision will likely disappoint Maksimovic, who told Napoli Magazine just last week he would run back to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona given the chance. Now, he could join Genoa, despite West Ham and Palace also showing an interest this summer.
The Mirror reported West Ham made Maksimovic an offer to join David Moyes’ squad in July. While Corriere dello Sport journalist Antonio Giordano also cited their interest, and noted that Crystal Palace likewise proposed a move to the Premier League in June.
Both West Ham and Crystal Palace can now take encouragement from Napoli turning to Jesus over Maksimovic. But Genoa could throw a curveball at Moyes and Patrick Vieira by rivalling for the 25-cap international before August 31.
Genoa can prove problematic for West Ham and Palace in Maksimovic race
Maksimovic could relish Premier League football at West Ham or Crystal Palace after Napoli dashed his hopes of an emotional return. But the Hammers and Eagles may still face strong rival interest from Genoa if the Rossoblu advance their interest.
Davide Ballardini currently has seven centre-backs at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium. Three of those have also arrived this summer, but the Genoa boss is still not satisfied with his ranks. The Rossoblu also ended last season with the worst goal difference among Italy’s top-11.
No side above Genoa in the Serie A standings conceded more than their 58 goals. A record Ballardini may hope Maksimovic can improve if he rejects West Ham and Crystal Palace.