Leeds United summer departee Elia Caprile is attracting the interest of Napoli ahead of the January transfer window.
That’s according to Mario Giuffredi, with the Italian agent revealing in a recent interview with Radio Marte (via Sport Witness) that Aurelio De Laurentiis is planning on signing the goalkeeper this winter, with the Napoli president believed to be using his connections with the Bari owner – his son Luigi De Laurentiis – to seal the 21-year-old on a cut-price deal.
This is sure to come as a huge blow to Victor Orta and Leeds United, as the Whites’ director of football was reported to have negotiated a 50% sell-on clause in the shot-stopper’s €150k (£130k) move to the Stadio San Nicola – something that will become practically worthless should Caprile indeed go on to link up with Gli Azzurri for a reduced fee.
Regarding the future of the ‘keeper, Giuffredi said: “The sporting director of Napoli, [Cristiano] Giuntoli, will not do anything in January. He will take only two players from Bari, [Walid] Cheddira and Caprile, to put in the squad next season.”
While it would appear highly unlikely that, should Caprile have remained at Elland Road this season, the 21-year-old would have gone on to displace the imperious Illan Meslier as Jesse Marsch’s number one, considering just how impressive the Italian has been for Bari, Orta’s decision to cash in on the goalkeeper for such a small fee is already proving to have been a shocker.
Indeed, over his 13 Serie B appearances this season, the £1.1m-rated talent has been in sensational form, helping his side keep three clean sheets and saving one penalty, as well as making an average of 2.4 saves – at a success rate of 67% – per game.
These returns have seen the 21-year-old average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.85, currently ranking him as Michele Mignani’s tenth-best performer in the second tier of Italian football.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the shot-stopper’s performances have seen the player who Football Talent Scout Jacek Kulig compared to Gianluigi Buffon and dubbed both an “absolute star” and a “terminator” earn a considerable amount of praise, with agent Graziano Battistini stating of the youngster after his fantastic start to the season:
“Obviously a start like this surprised everyone a bit. Not so much me, because I’ve known him for some time and I had faith that he would respond presently in the face of this new adventure.
“I hoped that the environment Bari could give him confidence. Once this happened, Elia demonstrated all his worth and everything came as a consequence. I was aware that all this could happen. Now we just have to continue like this.”
And, with it appearing as if Serie A table-toppers Napoli could now be set to snap the Italy U21 international up in January, coupled with just how much the 21-year-old has developed since his move to Bari, Orta’s decision to part with Caprile this summer is proving to have been more and more of a mare for the director of football with each passing day.