SSC Napoli fans may have to brace themselves for yet more disappointment after narrowly missing out on the Scudetto last season. Marek Hamšík, their talismanic captain and all-time record goalscorer, has once again admitted that he is 'tempted' by the possibility of a move to China, either over the summer or in January - having already been linked with a move to the Far East.
Speaking to Sport24 - and quoted by Football Italia - the Slovakia midfielder said: "I confess I’m tempted by the transfer but we’ll see with time." He added: "I’ve only been to China once, when we played in the Supercoppa but in life we have to try everything."
As well as scoring 100 Serie A goals for I Ciucciarelli in 395 league appearances for the club, Hamšík has also won more than 100 caps for the Slovakia national team, scoring 21 goals - including a memorable strike against Russia in the 2016 European Championship.
Although the 30-year-old may feel that his best days are behind him - having seen his scoring rate drop dramatically last season, from 15 in all competitions in 2016/17 to a comparatively modest seven in 2017/18 - Napoli fans will still be extremely reluctant to see such an influential and creative figure leave their club.
Hamšík also said to Sport 24, "I'm a Napoli player, for now" - which will surely be scant reassurance for last season's Serie A runners-up.
According to a separate Football Italia report, Hamšík could reportedly earn up to €10m a year in the Chinese Super League. Therefore, it seems highly likely that the midfielder is tempted more by a potentially lucrative contract than by the standard of football on offer in China, which most would agree is considerably lower than in Serie A.