Serie A side Napoli believe they will be able to negotiate a cut-price €10m fee for Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa to make his season-long loan from Fulham a permanent move in January, according to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness).
The 25-year-old secured his temporary stay in Italy in the latter stages of the summer transfer window, linking up with Luciano Spalletti’s men at the end of August after handing in a transfer request at Craven Cottage before the Championship’s opening game of the season at the start of last month.
The west London side’s manager Marco Silva left the Cameroonian out of his squad for that first match against Middlesbrough due to his desire to leave the club, before returning to the bench in their following game and even making three substitute appearances before his departure.
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In a surprising move, Anguissa signed a one-year contract extension at Craven Cottage before his temporary move to Naples, keeping him in the English capital until 2024 but potentially having an escape route via the permanent option in his loan agreement.
As per Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli would pay €15m (around £13.9m), but club president Aurelio De Laurentiis believes they can take advantage of Fulham’s relegation and the subsequent impact on their finances by negotiating a deal worth around €10m (roughly £8.6m) instead.
After already impressing at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona thus far, being described as the ‘best midfielder in Serie A’ by former Inter Milan centre-back Daniele Adani who went on to compare him to Chelsea legend Michael Essien, this is a move that is likely to be pushed through at some point in the next 12 months.
But whether it will be executed in January or next summer remains to be seen.
Considering they recruited him for a reported £22.3m fee, Fulham are unlikely to accept anything below the €15m negotiated between the two sides.
Right now, he is performing superbly in the Italian top division so it would be silly if the Cottagers were willing to lower their price further from an already-cheap €15m, because Napoli will almost certainly trigger the existing permanent option considering how instrumental he’s been for them thus far.
In saying that, his parent club have spent £12m on Harry Wilson and there are no guarantees they will get back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, so bringing the deal forward and guaranteeing themselves an eight-figure fee, albeit in euros, may be a tempting prospect.
Anguissa could also lose his consistency or sustain a serious injury at any point as well, so it’s something for the Cottagers to consider as they face a big hit on their finances with their return to the Championship and the impacts of Covid-19.
Taking everything into consideration though, with his performances being heavily praised, Fulham will probably risk it and wait for a bigger financial reward. €10m is not a lot, especially with his value inevitably going up after signing an extension at Craven Cottage.