Two days after rumors connecting Marouane Fellaini to Napoli surfaced, the Serie A club has confirmed the Manchester United midfielder is “on the table.” Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis verified his team’s interest in Thursday, with the filmmaker/soccer executive telling an Italian radio station that the Belgian’s hairstyle helps make him an attractive options for the club.
Fellaini, know for his characteristic large, dark afro, has been linked with moves away Old Trafford, with new manager Louis van Gaal reportedly hoping to trim him from the Red Devils’ roster. Though United gave Everton $42.8 million for the 26-year-old last September, the club is willing to cut its losses to find a new home for David Moyes’s first major acquisition.
Though Napoli won’t be able to approach last year’s fee, the club’s still been Fellaini’s most prominent suitor, with the possibility of a season on loan reported on Monday.
“Fellaini is one of the names on the table, but not the only one,” the Napoli president told the Italian radio station Kiss Kiss when asked about potential transfers for the upcoming season.
De Laurentiis thinks Fellaini and Gökhan Inler would make a good centre-midfield pairing for Napoli, not because of their playing styles but because of their respective hair styles …
“Fellaini has long hair and the Swiss [Inler] is shaven. Together they have a hairstyle that looks like a lion’s mane and three years ago I presented Inler with the mask of a lion!”
Assuming Fellaini can move on from last year’s struggles, a holding tandem of him and Inler in Napoli’s double-pivot should be very effective. But De Laurentiis, being the entertainer he is, sees beyond that potential. Effective is one thing. Attractive is another.
How much is that worth to United, though? The Red Devils are going to have to take a hit on Fellaini’s sale, but are the aesthetics of a deal enough to get Napoli’s commitment? At this point, it’s difficult to imagine the Belgian international being with the club come Sept. 1.