Napoli prioritize defence: Rafa Marin deal finalized, Hermoso in the mix


Napoli are  set to overhaul their defence as part of a comprehensive plan to strengthen the squad. With a three-man defensive setup favored by new coach Antonio Conte, the club is addressing the significant issues that plagued their backline last season.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli have already secured their first defensive reinforcement in Rafa Marin. The 22-year-old Spanish defender, who spent last season on loan at Alaves, will join from Real Madrid under a unique agreement. Napoli will pay €11 million for Marin, but Real Madrid retain buy-back options: €25 million in 2026 and €35 million in 2027. However, if Napoli pays an additional €10 million by the end of the next season, the buy-back clauses will increase to €50 million in 2026 and €70 million in 2027. Marin’s arrival is seen as a crucial addition to Napoli’s defensive lineup, with medicals and contract signings expected in the coming days.

Amir Rrahmani is the only defender assured of his place in the squad. The future of Juan Jesus remains uncertain, while Natan is expected to leave on loan. Napoli are also exploring other defensive options, with Mario Hermoso being a prominent target. The 29-year-old Spanish center-back, whose contract with Atletico Madrid is expiring, presents a cost-effective opportunity despite potentially high agent fees and salary demands. Hermoso’s versatility and experience make him an attractive option for Conte’s defensive trio.

Napoli are also considering Radu Dragusin, a 22-year-old Romanian currently with Tottenham, who has expressed a desire to return to Serie A, making him a viable option. Jaka Bijol, a 24-year-old Slovenian from Udinese, is another target, having already been evaluated during the January transfer window. Maxence Lacroix, a 24-year-old French defender from Wolfsburg, is also on Napoli’s radar. Additionally, Leonardo Spinazzola, a 31-year-old left-back from Roma, is being considered to strengthen the left flank of the midfield.



Serie A obsessive.