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Napoli's De Laurentiis: 'Don't talk to me about signing Africans' unless they meet our condition

10:04 GMT+3 03/08/2022
Anguissa Osimhen Insigne Napoli Udinese 19032022
The President discusses how African players must sign an agreement backing out of the Africa Cup of Nations to play for the Italian giants

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed a condition for the Serie A club to sign African players.

The Partenopei are currently the home of Nigeria forward Victor Osimhen and Cameroon international Andre Zambo Anguissa. Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly was another African player with Napoli but left this summer to sign for Chelsea.

According to De Laurentiis, unless African players sign an agreement backing out of the Africa Cup of Nations, the club will not be in the market for players from the continent.

“I told them lads, don’t talk to me about Africans anymore!” said De Laurentiis during a streamed event as quoted by Football Italia.

“I love them, but either they sign something confirming they’ll back out of playing the Africa Cup of Nations, or otherwise between that tournament, the World Cup qualifiers in South America, these players are never available!

“We are the idiots who pay salaries only to send them all over the world playing for others.”

During the last edition of Afcon in Cameroon, Napoli lost Anguissa and Koulibaly as they represented their nations at the competition. Koulibaly went on to lift the trophy for the first time ever with the Lions of Teranga after they defeated Egypt on penalties.

Meanwhile, Osimhen was not available for Napoli and Nigeria as he was out injured.

Ahead of the competition, there was a standoff between certain players, their respective European clubs and country. One example was Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis, who was unable to represent Nigeria despite several attempts by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to secure his release.

Nigeria went on to reach the Round of 16 where they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Tunisia.