Cannavaro advises Napoli to enter race for Dybala

epa09611373 Former Italian international and 2006 FIFA World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro arrives for the 2021 Ballon d'Or ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France, 29 November 2021. EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT

Fabio Cannavaro suggested that Napoli should look to sign Inter target Paulo Dybala and he implored them to renew Kalidou Koulibaly’s contract.

Partenopei fans have been extremely frustrated with president Aurelio De Laurentiis heading into the summer transfer window as he looks to lower the wage bill, meaning there’s a serious risk that club legends like Dries Mertens and Koulibaly could leave in the coming months.

Luciano Spalletti kept the team involved in the title race for the majority of the season just gone and only a few more acquisitions could provide him with just enough to challenge until the end.

Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Cannavaro first spoke about the soon-to-be free agent Dybala, whose contract is expiring with Juventus at the end of this month.

“If I were De Laurentiis I would make a proposal to Dybala. Of course, he’s available on a free transfer. I hope he stays in Italy, where he developed. He’s a player I enjoy, but the situation is not simple: he made his choice and probably thought he would find a team sooner.”

He gave his thoughts on Romelu Lukaku’s probable return to Inter this summer.

“He’ll arrive on loan, mind you, but hats off to them. Coming back sometimes pays off and sometimes it doesn’t, you face certain comparisons and certain risks. I’ve experienced it.”

The 2006 World Cup winner spoke about top defender Koulibaly and what Napoli should do with him.

“Kalidou represents a pillar of a team that in recent years has always been lucky enough to be able to count on him. If I were in the club, I would make a sacrifice to keep him, to renew him.

“Maybe he has important requests that some other club could satisfy, but it’s difficult to find players like him in that role, whoever has a defender like that or maybe a left-back of value must hold on to them. There is a shortage. You can find a midfielder or a striker.”

He had different feelings about Mertens, who is set to leave on a free transfer.

“He has given Napoli so much, but you have to understand his demands. If they are what I read, then no. It’s a different matter from Koulibaly or maybe Lorenzo who is younger.”

Cannavaro commented on why Serie A is still so far behind the Premier League.

“You have to invest in stadiums and create revenue, they understood this in advance, while Italian clubs only rely on television rights.

“The cathedrals in the desert of Italia 90 with running tracks around them are over, Real, in pandemic, has invested in a stadium where you can do anything. Our facilities are the worst in the world. Certainly in Europe.”

He touched on Italy’s failure to qualify for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

“I’m scared of resignation, we’re out and that’s how it is. We need to find solutions in the youth sectors, in stadiums and in coaches. The government must allow clubs to build and young Italians to be compared to their foreign peers.”

The Italian coach confirmed that he’s received some offers recently.

“Yes, several, but I need to feel the ambition on the other side. I’ve spoken to people with no stimuli, but you always need a goal. High or low. They’ve called me from America and Asia, but my idea is to stay in Europe.”

Finally, Cannavaro discussed the difference in mindset between Napoli president De Laurentiis, who wants the team to win the Scudetto, and coach Spalletti, who thinks a top four finish will be hard to achieve.

“I’m halfway between them, but I’m pleased that the president said something like this. Napoli lacked the victory and maybe seeing Milan win the Scudetto after years spent chasing it hurt the fans. But he guaranteed stability.”

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