Ajax's Amin Younes might not join Napoli this summer
Amin Younes appears to be having second thoughts about joining Napoli in the summer after telling Dutch media that he does not know whether he will be joining the Serie A club.
Younes was in Naples last month after undergoing a medical in Rome and, according to the club's president Aurelio De Laurentiis, he signed a contract valid from July, but turned down the chance to join the Partenopei in the winter transfer window due to personal reasons.
However, he now appears unsure about whether he will indeed return to Naples in the summer after marking his comeback from injury with a goal for Ajax's reserve team.
"I can't tell you now if I will be going to Napoli this coming summer," he told De Telegraaf. "The deal didn't go through for personal reasons. A lot of things happen, but I don't want to say more about it."
When asked if he might sign for another five years with Ajax, the German attacking midfielder said: "I don't know yet, but I cannot rule that out," before expanding on his commitment to the Dutch club, despite being left out of their last three games due to uncertainty over his future.
"The coach asked me if I wanted to play for the reserves and it seemed it would do me good to get some minutes in my legs," he said. "I've played nine games in the Eredivisie, just this was my only opportunity now.
"I've always given everything for Ajax and I will continue to do so in the months to come. It's up to me to get the fans back on my side. I'm just glad I helped the reserve team with my goal."
Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Napoli is ready for a legal fight with Younes, should the Ajax winger fail to honour his pre-contract agreement.
"What the footballer says is in complete contrast with what he agreed with the club," said Napoli's lawyer Mattia Grassani.
"Younes can claim he will never show up in Naples but he has signed an agreement with us, which will bind him to our club from July 1. Should he choose to take a different path, we will take the matter to court.".
De Laurentiis has speculated that Bayern Munich and Juventus may be behind the player's apparent change of heart.
"I've realised there has been this triangle over Younes, involving friends of friends," he told Il Corriere dello Sport. "Am I talking about Bayern Munich moving for him on Juventus' advice? That's for you to say, I'm not going into what happens behind the scenes, but I mean... ECA, UEFA.... Let's just leave it at that."
Bayern's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was president of ECA [The European Clubs' Association] until last year, when Juventus' president Andrea Agnelli succeeded him, while the Italian and German champions have had close relations with recent transfers of players, such as Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.