Napoli are top of the Serie A table halfway through the season.
Not many would have tipped Luciano Spalletti’s men for such a position just a few months ago.
The Parthenopeans lost several key players last summer, and this was a season many people expected them to struggle.
Losing Kalidou Koulibaly, Fabian Ruiz, Arkadiusz Milik, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne ought to be a big blow for any club.
However, Napoli have found a way to surpass everyone’s expectations, and they are clear favourites to win the title this term.
They have won 50 points from a possible 57, and that is more than incredible. Their return of 16 wins, two draws and a defeat in the first 19 games of the campaign is solid.
Napoli have established a 12-point gap at the top of the Italian top-flight table as a result of their utter dominance.
Defending champions AC Milan, who are in second place, are no match for them, and it is hard to see anyone beating Spalletti’s side to the title.
A first Serie A title since 1990 is all but guaranteed for Napoli from the look of things.
However, would that enable them to retain the services of their key players?
The league’s current highest goalscorer Victor Osimhen is wanted by several clubs.
The 24-year-old Nigeria international striker has been linked with Arsenal, Newcastle United and Manchester United.
He has scored 13 league goals in 15 games this term, and suitors will continue to monitor him.
Last summer’s signing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is another player that clubs across Europe are keeping tabs on, with Manchester City reportedly keen.
The Georgia international winger has seven Serie A goals and assists in 14 games this term.
Mario Rui, Piotr Zielinski, Piotr Zielinski, Stanislav Lobotka, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Kim Min-jae are also players that would have caught the attention of other clubs.
Scouts are also likely watching Eljif Elmas, Hirving Lozano and Matteo Politano at every game.
Holding on to some of their top players could prove tricky, but winning the title would help Napoli.
The prize money and Champions League money would surely help their finances.
As a result, the need to sell to balance the books should be eliminated.
However, some of the players could be open to a different challenge. Not everyone would be keen on a title defence.
If they emerge as Serie A champions, Napoli will be eager to take it a notch higher and challenge for the Champions League going forward.
They need to retain the services of their key men and also recruit more if that is to happen.
The former is more crucial for the Blues, and it will be interesting to see how they navigate the next transfer window.
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