Napoli must do everything they can to keep Arsenal target Jose Callejon at the club. The former Real Madrid striker is reportedly unhappy at the Stadio San Paulo, and may move to the Emirates Stadium despite the club rejecting approaches away from the club in the summer.
But with Rafael Benitez’s side struggling in Serie A, the Spaniard needs as many attacking reinforcements as possible and must convince one of his most important assets to snub English interest and remain in Naples.
Callejon only signed on with the Italian giants last summer, and went on to enjoy his first season with the club by lifting the Coppa Italia in May.
He thrived alongside the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Lorenzo Insigne and Marek Hamsik in attack, and also helped secure Champions League football for Benitez’s team by guiding them to third in the league table.
The Madrid graduate found the net 20 times in 52 appearances, justifying his decision to leave the Spanish capital for first team football elsewhere.
Such eye-catching performances were never going to go unnoticed, with Jose Mourinho attempting to bring his former disciple to Stamford Bridge and Brendan Rodgers also monitoring events before opting for Mario Balotelli to fill the void left by Luis Suarez’s move to Barcelona.
The 27-year-old may find the lure of the Premier League difficult to decline if Arsene Wenger comes calling when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.
Despite having bolstered his squad with the additions of Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Callum Chambers in pre-season, the Frenchman may swoop for Napoli’s lynchpin if Theo Walcott fails to shine upon returning from injury.
Callejon’s loyalty to Mourinho may scupper any chances of a move, but a bid in the region of £16million may force the hand of Napoli’s hierarchy.
Competition for places is fierce over in North London, but with the jury still out on Welbeck and Olivier Giroud sidelined until next year with a broken leg moving for another intelligent, attacking forward makes perfect sense.
Benitez managed to keep Higuain at the club in spite of summer interest from Liverpool and Barcelona, and may have to use similar methods to convince Callejon to do the same.
Their football has been slow and sluggish this season, but may finally ignite at the weekend when they play Inter Milan at the San Siro in the biggest game of the season so far.
With the player about to reach the peak of his career within the next two years, Benitez must pray that Callejon commits himself to the club. Losing such a star player could seriously damage their hopes of future glory.