Napoli submit €15 million opening offer for Barcelona-linked World Cup star
Azzedine Ounahi was one of the breakout stars at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The 22-year-old midfielder was a key cog in the Morocco team that surprised one and all to make it as far as the semi-finals.
Ounahi’s performances for Morocco put him on the radars of several top clubs, including FC Barcelona. The Catalans have been in the market for midfield reinforcements and were seemingly left impressed by the Angers midfielder after his displays in Qatar.
Reports suggested that the Blaugrana were looking at Ounahi as a low-cost option to bolster their midfield department.
However, competition for the midfielder’s signing has been rising with each passing day as the likes of Napoli, Leicester City and Olympique de Marseille, among several others, have shown an interest in acquiring his services.
Now, according to Gianluca Di Marzio, as relayed by Fabrizio Romano, Napoli have made their move to try and sign Ounahi from Angers.
As per the report, the Serie A leaders have tabled a first bid of €15 million for the Moroccan international. They have proposed an arrangement wherein Ounahi would be allowed to stay at Angers for the remainder of the campaign before moving to Italy in the summer.
Talks are said to be ongoing between the two clubs while the player is also yet to make a decision.
Given Barcelona’s financial situation, a deal in January was always going to be unlikely. The Catalans are in no position to make any recruitments this month unless there are any notable exits from Camp Nou.
Even then, a new right-back is likely to be the priority for Xavi Hernandez & co. So, while there has been interest in Ounahi, a move for the Moroccan seemed unlikely given the growing interest in his services. And, now it seems like the midfielder will for certain slip out of Barça’s hands.