Azzedine Ounahi transfer latest: Napoli race ahead of Leeds as club chief outlines signing confidence

Azzedine Ounahi of Morocco during the international friendly match between Morocco and Chile played at RCDE Stadium on September 23, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain Credit: Alamy
Azzedine Ounahi of Morocco during the international friendly match between Morocco and Chile played at RCDE Stadium on September 23, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain Credit: Alamy

Napoli appear to be growing in confidence of winning the race to sign Azzedine Ounahi after coming forward with an improved offer to land the reported Leeds United target.

The Moroccan star underlined himself as a midfielder of huge talent with some excellent displays at the World Cup. Operating alongside Sofyan Amrabat, their parnership was a major factor in their historic rise to the semi-finals. And while their Qatar adventure was eventually ended by France, their exploits in the tournament have gone down in history.

Now, several members of that Moroccan side appear to have put themselves on the radars of several top sides.

Amrabat, for example, has been linked with Liverpool and now appears destined to sign for Atletico Madrid.

As for Ounahi, he also looks set to secure himself a lucrative move. Currently playing for Angers in Ligue 1, Ounahi was something of an unknown quantity prior to the World Cup.

However, his impressive displays has seen him linked with the likes of Tottenham and Aston Villa. But the strongest transfer interest in the Premier League has seemingly come from Leeds. Indeed, their interest in signing the midfielder has recently been confirmed by Fabrizio Romano.

Indeed, reports claim the Whites have submitted the most significant bid for the Angers star.

But they are far from alone in the pursuit, with Serie A leaders Napoli also keen on his signing.

And Romano has been quick to add a note of caution towards Leeds amid claims the midfielder seemingly favours the move to Naples.

Now Napoli’s director of sport Cristiano Giuntoli claims they are ‘optimistic’ of winning the race for Ounahi.

Napoli present Angers with Ounahi swap deal

Furthermore, after initially bidding only £13.2m (€15m) for his services, they are now reportedly upping their offer. And it seems their new proposal will seemingly convince Angers to do business.

“We are optimistic, the player is talented,” he told Sport Mediaset. “But right now we are concentrating on the team and what happens on a daily basis.”

The capture of Ounahi could be the first of a triple coup by Napoli as they look to strengthen their squad for the run-in.

And the next deal lined up by the club is a potential swap deal of goalkeepers Salvatore Sirigu and Atalanta’s Pierluigi Gollini.

“We are talking about it, we’ll see,” was Giuntoli’s reply.

And finally, Napoli also hope to land a second Moroccan star in the shape of Walid Cheddira, who currently plays for Napoli’s sister club Bari.

Asked about the possibility of that signing going through, the Napoli chief was giving little away, offering a brief “we’ll see” response.

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