Napoli Interested in West Ham United Midfielder Pablo Fornals

Pablo Fornals
Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United - Premier League | Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

West Ham United midfielder Pablo Fornals has reportedly attracted the interest of Serie A side Napoli, although a deal for the Spaniard is not without its complications.

The Hammers bought Fornals less than 12 months ago for £25.2m from La Liga side Villarreal, although the 24-year-old has struggled to pin down one position in east London, having been fielded on both flanks as well as through the middle.

FBL-ENG-PR-WEST HAM-LEICESTER
Fornals has scored two goals and registered five assists in 27 Premier League appearances this season | BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

However, despite the somewhat subdued nature of his debut campaign, his recent arrival in the Premier League coupled with the four years left on his current deal points towards a steep asking price for the Spain international.

Napoli, runners-up in Serie A for the past two seasons, have highlighted Fornals as a possible replacement for the outgoing Allan, according to reports from Italian publication Corriere dello Sport.

After spending five seasons in the south of Italy anchoring Napoli's midfield, as they have enjoyed their longest spell among the nation's top clubs since the days of Diego Maradona, Allan's time with the Partenopei looks to have come to an end in rather sour circumstances.

The Brazilian was one of several Napoli players whose homes were targeted by fans earlier in the season in the wake of poor performances and disputes with the club's ownership. Paris Saint-Germain are considered to be his most likely destination next season, although Corriere's report adds that Everton are interested.

SSC Napoli v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Prior to this campaign, Allan has never finished lower than third in Serie A with Napoli in four season | MB Media/Getty Images

The fact that Fornals arrived less than a year ago complicates matters and the likelihood of Napoli spending the money this deal would undoubtedly require seems unfeasible given the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Also, the club already took steps to secure Allan's replacement in January, with the acquisition of defensive-minded midfielders Stanislav Lobotka and Diego Demme for a combined fee just shy of £30m.

In theory, Fornals could serve as a stand-in for Napoli's own Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz, who has garnered interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona in recent weeks.