Cristiano Giuntoli’s former collaborator Giandomenico Costi reveals the Napoli director ‘locked’ Victor Osimhen inside a hotel in 2020, persuading him to sign for the Partenopei and snub Liverpool.
Costi brought Giuntoli to Carpi in 2009 and then followed the 51-year-old to the Stadio Maradona in 2018. He was one of Giuntoli’s closest collaborators and the pair has worked together for almost nine years.
Giuntoli is one of the architects of Napoli’s first Serie A title in 33 years, an achievement also obtained thanks to the signings of Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
“The signing of Osimhen is Giuntoli’s biggest masterpiece,” Costi told Tuttosport newspaper on Tuesday (page 15).
“He [Osimhen] was locked in a hotel for three days. Giuntoli knew Liverpool were interested, and Jurgen Klopp had made his move, but Cristiano spoke to Osimhen in the hotel for three days until he convinced him to accept Napoli.
“He was full of energy. Giuntoli is a director who would call you 100 times a day,” the ex-Carpi director continued.
“He knew Victor very well, he had even followed him at Charleroi.”
Osimhen is now seen as Chelsea and Manchester United’s top transfer target for 2023-24 with the Red Devils also interested in the Partenopei centre-back Kim Min-jae who joined the Partenopei in 2021 from Fenerbache for just €18m.
“With Kim, it was easier,” said Costi. “Cristiano didn’t need to scrutinise many defenders to understand that he was the right one.”
Giuntoli has a year left in his contract with Napoli but has reached an agreement with Juventus, so Costi was asked whether the 51-year-old is ready to move to the Allianz Stadium.
“He is, surely, but he’d be ready for any club. At Juventus, he would have the best facilities in the world. He knows football very well and he can adapt to any context which is rare for a director who hasn’t been a professional footballer at the highest levels.”