Napoli are closing in on Colombian youngster Duván Zapata to add more depth to their front-line for the coming season. The Neapolitans have already pulled off one of the biggest deals of current transfer market when they invested part of the money they received from PSG in the Edinson Cavani deal to bring in Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid. However, with the Azzuri participating in three tournaments this season, Rafa Benitez’s team may need more bench strength and Zapata may be an option in that regard.
Zapata started his senior career in his native club America de Cali where he scored 9 goals in 65 matches between 2008 and 2011. It was his performance in 2011 U20 World Cup, when he scored a goal in three matches that earned him a move to Estudiantes de la Plata for a loan deal worth $ 120,000. He spent his first season one the sidelines mostly, suffering from an ankle injury. After returning from injury, a hattrick for the reserve team earned him a call for Estudiantes’ first team and he managed to strike some form by scoring four goals in eight matches in the Clausura phase – a performance which also convinced his club to make his move permanent. Last season was also highly productive for the 22 year old as he struck the net 16 times in 33 matches for Estudiantes.
The young striker has been linked with a number of European clubs in past. His move to EPL side West Ham United reportedly crashed after issues related to visa while another possible deal with QPR collapsed after he failed to secure a work permit despite training for a few days with QPR players. QPR had valued him £ 6.4m but the reported amount offered by Napoli is around £3.5 m. Estudiantes president has flown to Rome to discuss with Napoli officials and he is likely to make the final decision. Serie A new boys Sassuolo are also interested in Zapata, as per reports.