Elseid Hysaj May Sign New Napoli Deal Amid Chelsea Rumours, Says Agent | Bleacher Report
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The agent of Napoli right-back Elseid Hysaj has warned Chelsea their alleged target will consider signing a new contract with his current employers unless he completes a transfer away from Naples this month.
Hysaj has been fervently linked with Chelsea as Blues boss Maurizio Sarri looks to reunite with his former Napoli charge, but representative Mario Giuffredi told Rai Sport (h/t Football Italia) time may be running out:
“The important thing is hearing that [Napoli manager Carlo] Ancelotti respects Hysaj.
“He confirmed his faith in him. Of course, the January transfer window is always to be evaluated and there has been talk of Chelsea, for example.
“If there are situations that are mutually advantageous, then we’d evaluate them. If nothing happens in January, then we’ll discuss a contract extension.”
The Albania defender has a contract at the Stadio San Paolo that’s not due to run out until June 2021, but Ancelotti’s selection policy at right-back in the first half of the season indicated Hysaj could be seen as expendable.
Sarri has looked content with Cesar Azpilicueta after the Spaniard returned to the right-back position at Stamford Bridge this term, though football writer David Amoyal recently gave hope to Hysaj signing:
Space could free up in Chelsea’s defensive line, too, after Sky Sport Italia and Sportitalia(h/t Football Italia) reported David Zappacosta has agreed terms with Lazio for a transfer, but the Blues are seemingly holding up the deal.
Kevin Malcuit and central defender Nikola Maksimovic have shared time at right-back under Ancelotti this season, while Hysaj was left on the bench in the 1-0 defeat to Inter, when winger Jose Callejon was tried in defence.
Bleacher Report’s Alex McGovern explored the history shared by Hysaj and former Napoli chief Sarri, who took the defender from old club Empoli in 2015, the same summer he moved to Naples:
Alex McGovern @AlexMcGovern11
Reminder of why Sarri wants Hysaj — he’s been his system right back since for about 6 years. Given Chelsea already have a senior rightback in Azpilicueta, I’d rather see the other spot go to Reece James. In form, excellent crosser, future leader and at Chelsea since age 6. https://t.co/g6WYQHG4zK
But there’s a question as to whether Hysaj would be content joining a team that already boasts a figure as talented as Chelsea fan favourite Azpilicueta, although Sarri could intend to make a major change in west London.
There’s another candidate for the right-back rotation in academy product Reece James, 19, who has impressed on loan at Wigan Athletic and is blossoming in his early years, per fan account Football Talent Scout:
🔵Chelsea Academy Player of the Season
🥇🥇🥇Wigan Player of the Month
Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Kyle Walker-Peters, Jonjoe Kenny, Steven Sessegnon – England has so many fantastic young right-backs! 🏴 https://t.co/pgaJdsFQvs
Giuffredi is clear in his sentiment: Chelsea risk missing out on Hysaj altogether unless they make a move for his talents. However, those comments could be little more than scare tactics on his behalf.
There’s a question of why Hysaj would want to extend his stay after he was an unused substitute in three of the club’s last four Serie A games, and it looks as though the out-of-favour star is keen to speed up transfer negotiations.