Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli has categorically ruled out the chance of the Serie A side recruiting Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa permanently during the January transfer window, speaking about the midfielder on Sky Sport Italia (via Claudio Russo).
A recent report from Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claimed the Europa League outfit’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis was preparing to try and negotiate a cut-price €10m deal with Fulham for Anguissa to take him off the English side’s hands permanently in January, a lower fee than the €15m option in the initial agreement that can be triggered in the summer.
With Fulham’s relegation from the top flight likely to have an impact on their finances and the Cameroon international making a real impact, even being labelled as the ‘best midfielder in Serie A’, it would have been no surprise to have seen Anguissa’s loan club try to tie him down early at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
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But this report from Gazzetta dello Sport has been dismissed from Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli, who said: “Offer to Fulham for Anguissa? We have a ransom (agreement) set in June, [it would be] absurd to put money first.”
The 25-year-old made 36 Premier League appearances for Fulham last term, becoming a key player at Craven Cottage again following a spell at current Europa League champions Villarreal during the 2019/20 campaign, but not exactly fancying the prospect of plying his trade in the Championship after the west London side’s relegation.
He handed in a transfer request shortly before Marco Silva’s side’s opening league game of the 2021/22 season against Middlesbrough, being omitted from the squad completely because of this attempt to force an exit from Craven Cottage but returning to the first-team fold for the following four games.
Manager Silva even admitted he wanted to retain Anguissa, but was unable to keep hold of the Cameroonian and faces losing him next summer if he can continue in his current form.
There was little chance Fulham were going to accept an offer of anywhere near €10m – and it was even a surprise they negotiated a deal for as little as €15m after purchasing him for £22.3m back in 2018.
Add in the fact they saw Anguissa sign a new one-year extension on his contract before heading over to Italy – and it would make very little sense for them to come to the negotiating table unless the same offer or more was on the table to make the deal permanent in January.
In his current form, €15m is still a bargain for a player who still has room for improvement at 25 years old and will only continue to grow further under Luciano Spalletti in Naples, with a potential place in the Champions League up for grabs at the end of the campaign.
With this mouth-watering prospect and Anguissa probably burning his bridges at Craven Cottage with his transfer request last month, it would be very hard to see him making a return even if Marco Silva’s side win promotion back to the Premier League.
They also have the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah, Josh Onomah, Jean Michael Seri and Harrison Reed to choose from, so his departure hasn’t been a complete disaster for the Cottagers.