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Rudi Garcia outlines Napoli transfer plans

Newly-appointed Napoli head coach Rudi Garcia has delivered an update on the club’s transfer plans after winning a long-awaited Scudetto.

Garcia replaced Scudetto-winning manager Luciano Spalletti at the end of last season and is already facing a nightmare as Kim Min-jae is set to join Bayern Munich.

The 26-year-old South Korea international was among the decisive factors that helped Napoli end a 33-year Serie A title drought last term.

But he is about to exit the club after just one year, threatening to leave the Partenopei exposed at the back unless they can find a suitable replacement to fill the vacancy.

Garcia believes his current defensive options are solid enough, suggesting Napoli may not go all-out to sign Min-jae’s successor despite recent rumours suggesting otherwise.

“We have Juan Jesus, Amir Rrahmani and Leo Ostigard, who are excellent players,” the Frenchman said, as quoted by Corriere dello Sport.

“They are here and they won’t leave. If we can find a new player with the quality of a starter, that’s fine. If not, I already have three defenders.”

Victor Osimhen’s future at Napoli following a superb run of form in 2022/23 has been one of the hottest topics this summer, with numerous elite clubs setting their sights on the Nigerian.

However, Aurelio De Laurentiis is determined to keep the former Lille striker at the Diego Maradona Stadium, and Garcia confirms he expects Osimhen to remain in south Italy next season.

“He is under contract – tomorrow, he will arrive with the others,” the ex-Roma boss added.

“When I spoke to Aurelio De Laurentiis, I saw we had the same ambition.”

Napoli have another headache as Newcastle United lodged a mega-money bid for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia on Monday.

The reigning Serie A holders are widely expected to reject the Magpies’ attempt to deprive them of the winger’s services, but everything’s still up in the air.

Tanguy Ndombele is the only player to have officially left Napoli, returning to Tottenham Hotspur after a decent loan spell at the Diego Maradona Stadium.

Garcia acknowledges the need to replace the French midfielder after the Partenopei refused to trigger a €30 million buyout clause at the end of last season.

“There is a lot of quality in midfield and even players who can play on the wing,” he said. “I knew Ndombele when he was in Lyon and he was an excellent player.

“We must find someone to replace him. Napoli players must know how to play football, but I’d like to find a player with physicality to help [Andre-Frank] Zambo Anguissa.”

Zambo Anguissa and Stanislav Lobotka stole the limelight as the most productive midfield duo in Serie A last season, providing the backbone for Napoli’s triumphant league campaign.

But Garcia could use an additional option in the engine room, with the Italians recently making contact with Daichi Kamada.

The Japanese playmaker is a free agent after running down his contract at Eintracht Frankfurt and could be a decent cost-effective signing for Napoli.

If Piotr Zielinski halts his seven-year association with the club amid Lazio’s growing interest, Garcia may need to recruit another midfielder.

However, De Laurentiis has knocked back the Rome club’s opening bid for the Pole, suggesting the 29-year-old could stay in Naples.

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