Napoli scotch Ronaldo links and rule out Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen deals in January sales

By Sports Desk October 27, 2022

Napoli have dismissed the idea they could offer Cristiano Ronaldo refuge in January as the Serie A leaders insist they "don't have to fix anything".

Sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli indicated the prospect of any major incomings or outgoings was remote, given Napoli are confident they have a strong group with the right balance.

He added that to "fly with the fantasy" would not be Napoli's style this season, as they seek a first Scudetto since the 1989-90 season, when Diego Maradona was at the club.

Ronaldo could leave Manchester United in mid-season if a deal can be found that suits all parties.

His refusal to play as a substitute and early exit from the stadium last week against Tottenham led to United briefly banishing him from first-team duties, although the 37-year-old has since returned to the squad and looked set to play some part on Thursday against Sheriff in the Europa League.

However, Ronaldo's former team Sporting CP have ruled out a move, and now Napoli, having been linked with Ronaldo in the last transfer window, are distancing themselves from a possible deal for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Giuntoli told Mediaset: "We are very far from the market. At the moment we are thinking only of everyday life, trying to improve continuously."

Regarding Ronaldo, he said: "The January transfer market is one of repair and we don't have to fix anything, so I really think we won't do anything."

That stance covers how Napoli are thinking regarding their exciting, young Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, as well as striker Victor Osimhen.

Both have admirers in the Premier League, but Napoli are not minded to sell, at least for now.

Luciano Spalletti's team head Serie A with 29 points from 11 games, and they have also won five out of five Champions League group games, beating Rangers 3-0 on Wednesday.

Giuntoli said: "Kvaratskhelia is doing well, like many others, and is absolutely non-transferable."

According to Giuntoli, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis is firmly behind the football staff's plans for shaping the team to deliver success.

"The president is very happy with what we are doing, but like all of us he keeps his feet on the ground," Giuntoli said.

"Football is made up of balance, we must not fly with the fantasy. We are curious to discover our limits.

"Our prerogative has always been to move using our heads, both outgoing and incoming, and I think that, sometimes more, sometimes less, we have always managed to set up a competitive team. We do nothing without first having heard the coach."

Related items

  • Philadelphia Union v New England Revolution: Curtin looking to end 'unacceptable' winless streak Philadelphia Union v New England Revolution: Curtin looking to end 'unacceptable' winless streak

    Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin has urged his team to find a way to grind out a vital win when they meet the New England Revolution in MLS on Wednesday.

    The Union sit bottom of the Eastern Conference having failed to win any of their last 10 matches, extending that streak against Toronto FC on Saturday as they conceded two quickfire second-half goals in a 2-1 defeat.

    Their last win came against the Revs in mid-May, and Curtin has set the simple target of getting three points after admitting his team have not been good enough in the last two months.

    "We've made some big mistakes and been punished for them. We haven't been able to make the little plays to get over the hump," Curtin said.

    "It's unacceptable how many games we haven't been able to find a way to win and the way we've done it has been really disappointing. We've become very fragile, which is uncharacteristic of this group.

    "It really comes down with us just finding a way to grind out a win, ugly, pretty, whatever it takes to put it behind us."

    Meanwhile, the Revs are one point better off than their opponents, sitting 13th in the table having lost their previous two matches.

    They let a lead slip against Orlando City in their 3-1 defeat at the weekend, and head coach Caleb Porter hopes they can put their injury troubles behind them to get back to winning ways.

    "We've got to find a way to get some points out of these next two games, even under the circumstances of where we're at," Porter said, as quoted in The Blazing Musket substack.

    "And I believe 100% when we're healthy – and we showed it in the four-game stretch – when we have our group healthy, that we can beat anybody in the league."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Philadelphia Union – Daniel Gazdag

    Daniel Gazdag has scored five career regular-season goals against New England, more than against any other team in his MLS career.

    The five goals are also the most by any player against the Revs since the Hungarian joined MLS in 2021.

    New England Revolution – Giacomo Vrioni

    Giacomo Vrioni scored New England's lone goal in their loss to Orlando City on Saturday and has now scored six of the club’s last seven goals, including the last three in a row.

    MATCH PREDICTION: PHILADELPHIA UNION WIN

    The Union have won five of their last six matches against New England (L1, incl. playoffs) dating back to July 2022. The Revs had gone unbeaten in the previous five meetings between the sides (W3 D2).

    However, the Union (D4 L6) are winless in 10 straight matches within a single regular season for the first time in club history. Philadelphia have won one of their last 17 matches, but that win came over New England in May.

    Meanwhile, none of New England's last 16 MLS matches have ended in a draw (W7 L9) dating back to the start of April. In fact, only one of the Revs’ last 26 league matches dating back to late September last season has ended level.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Philadelphia Union – 48.2%

    Draw – 25.9%

    New England Revolution – 25.9%

  • Trippier: Tiredness no excuse for Euro 2024 heartbreak Trippier: Tiredness no excuse for Euro 2024 heartbreak

    Kieran Trippier says England cannot use tiredness as an excuse for their Euro 2024 heartbreak after losing the final to Spain.

    The Three Lions fought back through Cole Palmer after Nico Williams' early second-half opener but conceded a late Mikel Oyarzabal goal in their 2-1 defeat to La Roja.

    It is the second consecutive European Championships final England lost, with Gareth Southgate admitting after Sunday's match that some players were "a little bit short of their physical peak".

    However, Trippier, who started all six of their games en route to the final, says that is not an excuse.

    "The team that we've got is fit," the right-back said. "If you see the running stats, I think we're probably the highest in the whole tournament. So that's not an excuse.

    "They [Spain] get the second goal, and it's always difficult when you're chasing the game against a team like Spain.

    "Football is all about fine margins. It's one of those where the lads gave everything."

    England's run to the final was not a smooth one, having to come from behind in the last 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals to set up the meeting with Spain.

    Jude Bellingham scored a late equaliser to ensure the Three Lions did not make an early exit in the round of 16 against Slovakia, while 22-year-old Palmer came off the bench to score in the final.

    Kobbie Mainoo and Marc Guehi also impressed in their maiden major tournament appearances, and Trippier is confident England have a bright future ahead of them.

    "They will have learned a great deal from this tournament," added Trippier.

    "The young players stepped up in big moments for us. They can learn a lot from this. It will make them grow."

  • FC Cincinnati v Chicago Fire: Noonan desperate for response after 'flat' performance FC Cincinnati v Chicago Fire: Noonan desperate for response after 'flat' performance

    FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan is desperate to find a remedy for his side's "flat" performance last time out, ahead of Chicago Fire's midweek MLS visit.

    The Orange and Blue produced arguably their worst performance of their season during Sunday's 3-1 home defeat against Charlotte FC.

    Cincinnati will have another chance to respond at TQL Stadium, bidding to remain top of the Eastern Conference standings after a surprise defeat in their last encounter.

    Home head coach Noonan acknowledged his side must perform better.

    "Our first 35 minutes were probably the worst of the year," Noonan said of the Charlotte showing. "We weren't ready, and that starts with me.

    "I have to look at why it was so flat… A lot of poor performances and some avoidable mistakes on the two goals that really put the momentum in their favour.

    "I think the warning signs, in terms of how we've conceded, have been there for a couple weeks now.

    "There was loss of concentration, lost a mark, set pieces again… some things that we will continue to try to find answers to. Yeah, the way we're conceding goals is concerning."

    The Fire, in stark contrast to Cincinnati at the summit, are just one spot from the bottom of the East table.

    Chicago did manage a goalless draw with New York City FC, however, in their last match and keeping them ahead of bottom side Philadelphia Union.

    Frank Klopas' side have accumulated 10 points from their last seven outings, though their away form is the worst in the Eastern Conference – with just seven points from 33 available on the road.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    FC Cincinnati – Luciano Acosta

    Luciano Acosta has been the leading light for Cincinnati's attack this year, sitting top of the club's scoring charts with 11 goals from 23 MLS appearances.

    The Orange and Blue forward will be integral once more if the hosts are to down the struggling Fire here.

    Chicago Fire – Hugo Cuypers

    It remains to be seen whether Xherdan Shaqiri will return from Euro 2024 in time for this one, having announced his international retirement for Switzerland on Monday.

    Hugo Cuypers will be expected to step up in his absence again, with the striker scoring nine goals for Chicago in MLS this season – at least four more than any other team-mate.

    MATCH PREDICTION – FC CINCINNATI WIN

    The home side are the dominant favourites for this clash, with the Opta supercomputer backing their victory chances at a hefty 66.1% from their data-led pre-match simulations.

    Cincinnati have triumphed in 12 of their last 15 MLS matches, although three defeats have come in their past eight such outings.

    That trio of losses have all come on their home ground, too, yet Cincinnati will be confident of getting over the line in this one.

    Klopas' visitors have failed to score in their last two outings, and that will only boost the hosts' hopes heading into this midweek clash.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    FC Cincinnati win – 66.1%

    Draw – 18.4%

    Chicago Fire win – 15.5%

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.