The classic cartoon Tom and Jerry reminds me of Juventus and Napoli. Tom (Napoli) always tried to catch Jerry (Juventus), but never really had success in doing so. It has been several seasons now that Napoli have been chasing Juventus, with no success at catching them. Napoli have sold some of their star players over recent years; Cavani, Lavezzi, and Higuain. The Partenopei are done with that.
Napoli’s new strategy; keep their stars and continue to build on them, in order to catch and surpass Juventus. It is hard to make much progress if you keep selling your stars and bringing in new players. By keeping Koulibaly, Insigne, Mertens, and others, it sends a message to the players and fans; we want to win.
Last summer, their star defender Koulibaly was courted by several big clubs; namely Chelsea. Napoli decided to keep him. This summer, there is a lot of the same talk surrounding Koulibaly. Antonio Conte wants to try to bring him to Chelsea again and is willing to offer €60 million to do so. Napoli are not interested. Conte also wants to sign Lorenzo Insigne and is willing to offer €50 million. Once again, Napoli are not interested. Dries Mertens had been linked to several big clubs; Manchester United and Barcelona were among those. This is a great sign for Napoli fans. They have talented players, that other big clubs are envious of, yet Napoli are committed to keeping these players. Being committed to keeping these players shows De Laurentiis and the club are committed to winning.
Napoli have recently given new contracts to Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne; tying these players future’s to the club. Insigne, a Naple’s native, has spoken several times about his desire to stay at Napoli and become their “Totti”.
Despite not willing to sell their star players anymore, Napoli are still looking to bolster their roster. Players like Pavoletti, Duvan Zapata, and Tonelli could be sold in order to bring in the funds to do so. Napoli plays some of the most attractive football in Europe, have a passionate fan base, and are in position to reach to the Champions League group stage. Plenty of reasons why their current stars want to stay in Naples and why other talented players would want to jump aboard. Perhaps Tom might just catch Jerry in the near future.