According to TuttoMercatoWeb via Italian newspaper Repubblica, Napoli have identified fringe Chelsea star Emerson Palmieri as their prime left-back target, with a loan move in January tipped.
It’s reported that Italian legend Gennaro Gattuso and Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli have made the recruitment of a left-back a priority in the winter market.
It’s added that Chelsea and Napoli have already held indirect talks regarding the switch, with the Blues actually open to allowing Emerson to join the Serie A outfit on loan without receiving a fee.
It really isn’t a surprise to see that Napoli are keen on a fringe Chelsea player in Emerson, as the side are reportedly in to talks to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko permanently, after the midfielder’s encouraging spell.
Emerson has also already admitted that he’d like to return to Serie A, the Italy international was signed by Chelsea in January 2018 but has made little impact in the near three years since arriving.
At times it did look like Emerson would make the starting spot his own, but he only experienced very few consistent runs as a starter before the Blues moved in a new direction with Ben Chilwell this summer.
The Italian-Brazilian appeared in 12 of Chelsea’s first 20 Premier League games last season before falling out of favour at the turn of the year, with just eight appearances for the club since.
Calciomercato reported recently that Frank Lampard’s fallout with Alonso actually led to Emerson missing out on a move to Juventus, with Chelsea switching their focus to offloading the Spaniard.
Napoli’s current starter at left-back is Elseid Hysaj. Emerson is still just 26 years old, so there’s every chance that he’ll establish himself as a top full-back if he’s presented the right opportunities.
Emerson’s made up for his lack of action with Chelsea by maintaining his spot as a starter for Italy under Roberto Mancini, he’s looked very encouraging as well.