Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed club captain Marek Hamsik wants to leave amid links with a move to China.
While the Chinese Super League does not boast the spending power it did during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, when some of Europe’s big-name players headed to the Far East, it is still considered a viable option with Marouane Fellaini recently leaving Manchester United for Shandong Luneng Taishan.
Will Hamsik leave Napoli? Five key things to know…
- Hamsik has been at Napoli since 2007, joining from Brescia.
- The Slovakian has since become of the club’s most important players.
- But Hamsik has constantly been linked with a move away from the club, with China the latest potential destination.
- Napoli manager Ancelotti has now confirmed Hamsik has expressed his desire to leave the club.
- Hamsik is Napoli’s all-time top goalscorer with 121 goals.
Although January 31 represented the end of the European transfer window, China’s does not close until February 28 leaving Super League clubs free to sign players ahead of their new season.
And, despite playing in Napoli’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria at the weekend, Ancelotti has confirmed Hamsik’s desire to leave he club he has called home since 2007.
“There are negotiations ongoing, we have to evaluate along with the player,” Ancelotti told Sky Sports, as reported by Goal.
“The club has huge respect for this player, as he wrote history with Napoli, but if he wants to have another experience, we tend to want to make him happy.
“There are talks. We are not hiding anything. As far as I and the club are concerned, if the player wants to try this new experience, we are inclined to give him what he wants.”
Napoli chairman, Aurelio De Laurentis, added: “We’ll see what happens with Hamsik. I’ve told him that whatever happens, this will always be home for him.”
As well as captaining the club, Hamsik is also Napoli’s all-time record scorer with 121 goals, having surpassed Diego Maradona in December 2017.
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Hamsik: The end of an era?
Despite being integral to Napoli in the modern era, Hamsik has constantly been linked with a move away from the club.
The Slovakia international has seen many team-mates come and go, including Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi with whom he formed the ‘Holy Trinity’.
But he has always remained dedicated to Napoli and, having been linked with a move away in October 2018, Hamsik’s representatives stated what it would take to prise him away from the club.
“They always ask the same things,” Martin Petras, a member of Hamsik’s representatives said.
“These questions are useless and they irritate me. Yesterday Marek was annoyed when they asked him about it again, he’s playing well and he’s focused on Napoli.
“If Barcelona come and pay €150m then we’ll talk about it.”
However, things appear to have now changed for Hamsik, who looks set to bow out of Napoli as one of their most loyal sons.