Maurizio Sarri is reportedly looking to facilitate a reunion with Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj at Chelsea next summer
According to a report by Italian outlet Calciomercato, Chelsea have reignited their interest in Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj. The Blues had previously been interested in landing the Albanian international in the summer transfer window, before Maurizio Sarri’s attempts at a reunion were foiled.
Hysaj has been one of the pillars of the Napoli side that has become a force to be reckoned with in recent years. Under the tutelage of Maurizio Sarri, the 24-year-old quickly established himself as one of the best full-backs in the Italian top-flight. And, the players has retained his status as a regular under Carlo Ancelotti.
In all, Hysaj has made 14 appearances across all competitions for Napoli this season, although his future at San Paolo remains a cause for concern. The player is yet to agree a new deal with the Partenopei, who have been in negotiations with him for the better part of 2018. This situation has piqued the interest of Sarri and Chelsea.
The Blues had been heavily linked with a move for Hysaj this past summer as well. But, Napoli were swift to knock back Chelsea’s bids and block Sarri’s attempts to swoop any of their players away from San Paolo. Now though, their interest in the player has reignited.
Cesar Azpilicueta has not been the colossal defender that he had been over the last few seasons for Chelsea, with the Spaniard struggling to adapt to Sarri’s system and the return to the right-back slot. Davide Zappacosta has been an able backup, but is being linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge owing to a lack of game time.
To that end, Chelsea have entered the market for a right-back, with Hysaj understandably being an attractive target. For starters, the Albanian international is privy to Sarri’s and should thus, take lesser time than usual to adapt to his new surroundings.
Secondly, with his best years still ahead of him, the 24-year-old is an appealing long-term target. As per the report, Hysaj’s contract at Napoli has a €50 million release clause, which the Serie A outfit are trying to do away with, in addition to bumping his annual wages from €1.6 million to around €3 million, as part of the new deal.
Chelsea would unlikely be hesitant in shelling out the player’s release clause and could potentially offer him better wages as well. But, Napoli would hope to avoid a reunion between Hysaj and Sarri, with Aurelio de Laurentiis unwilling to let any other player make his way to West London, following the departure of Jorginho in the summer.
However, the presence of a release clause takes Hysaj’s final decision out of their hands. Napoli now have to put all their eggs in one basket and hope the 24-year-old renews terms with them soon. Otherwise, they could be forced to make a profit on him by facilitating a reunion between him and Sarri at Chelsea.