Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis rules out move for Guillermo Ochoa
Napoli is no longer interested in signing Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis said Wednesday.
De Laurentiis made public his interest in the current Standard Liege player after first-choice keeper Alex Meret fractured his finger in early July. But that has now ended. However, third-choice goalkeepers at Arsenal and Liverpool in David Ospina and Simon Mignolet are still on his radar.
"Maybe we'll sign Ospina -- we're negotiating and there are differences over what they are asking for, but it could go through," he told Naples' Radio Kiss Kiss. "We pursued Ospina, Ochoa and (Simon) Mignolet, who is a great keeper, as well as [Ciprian] Tatarusanu .
"Those were the four names on the list. However, I'm not considering Ochoa anymore because he isn't a European Union citizen and [Giovanni] Malago [president of the Italian Olympic committee] has no intention of changing Italian football."
Ochoa's contract runs out next summer and he reportedly has a release clause of €3.5 million, although if he is to move from Belgium his options are limited due to non-EU player regulations in Serie A and La Liga.
Napoli made a loan offer for Ochoa earlier in the transfer window, but it wasn't acceptable for Standard Liege.
"We would also like Dries Mertens on loan -- but if I asked, they would laugh at me," sporting director Olivier Renard said. "Ochoa deserves a great club, he is a good goalkeeper and a good person, but for these two reasons we will not let him go."
Meanwhile, De Laurentiis also had strong words for a section of Napoli supporters who had been critical of his perceived lack of spending.
"Why are we talking about signings?" he added to Radio Kiss Kiss. "Because some doped or crazy fans want to. If they want to criticise me because we've not signed the players they want, then let them criticise. They want me to spend millions to buy new players, yet they go around buying fake shirts.
"Then they push their way through the turnstiles [without paying] so go on: let them criticise me and I will criticise them."
The transfer window in Italy closes on Friday evening, leaving them just over 48 hours to sign a new goalkeeper for their Serie A opener against Lazio.
Information from ESPN FC's Italy correspondent Ben Gladwell was used in this report.