Napoli invest €18,000,000 in a teenager

Napoli invest €18,000,000 in a teenager

While everyone was expecting news from Spain regarding the much-awaited, a maybe unlikely, signing of James Rodriguez, Napoli made a big move in a different end of Europe. The San Paolo club spent €18,000,000 to sign a 19-year-old North Macedonia representative Eljif Elmas.

Coming from Fenerbahce, the central midfielder who is adept playing further up the pitch or on the left side, became the second-highest signing of Napoli, following Kostas Manolas. The €16,000,000 will be paid in full, and €2,000,000 depending on bonuses.

Elif was born in Skopje, North Macedonia, and he has Turkish roots, yet he declined the offer of the Turkish national team coach Fatih Terim to represent Turkey.

The young player made his professional debut three days after turning 16, playing for Rabotnicki, an upper table side in North Macedonia. He finished his career in his home country with 44 appearances and seven goals. A move to Turkey was next.

Fenerbahce paid the young man only €180,000, and in his first season, he only made five appearances in the Turkish Super Lig. The last season though, Elif wore the Fenerbahce shirt 23 times in the league, and 34 times total, scoring just one goal.

The player's agent George Gardi revealed that multiple clubs were after Elif this summer and that the negotiations were gruelling. In the end, the player was swayed by the presence of Carlo Ancelotti at San Paolo.

The midfielder who turns 20 next month gave a short statement about his move.

"I’m really happy and excited to play for Napoli. This is my big chance, a challenge to show everyone how good I am," the 19-year-old told Corriere Dello Sport.

The deal comes through on the same day Napoli secured the outgoing loan of the Croatian Marko Rog (24) to Calgiari, with an obligation to buy for €15,000,000.


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