It is not the player you expected either. Gjanni Alioski’s future looks more and more likely to be away from the club and after some links to bitter rivals Galatasraray, the Leeds United defender could instead swap England for Italy – with Champions League-chasing Napoli said to be interested in signing the North Macedonia international on a free transfer this summer.
Alioski, 29, has been a regular for Leeds this season despite starting the 2020-21 campaign on the bench. However, he has benefitted from some excellent performances when used, as well as the transition of Stuart Dallas into the middle of the park. It has been a brilliant 12 months for Alioski, gaining promotion and becoming a regular in the Premier League – as well as preparing to represent his country at the European Championships.
But his future at Leeds is in massive doubt. He is now in the final two months of his current deal and it looks as though Alioski will leave Elland Road. He enters this summer’s Euros with a contract at Leeds, and by the time the tournament has finished, he will have seen that contract expire. Nigel Martyn told us last week that if he was going to stay, it would be more than likely that he would have signed a new deal.
Now, Alioski could end up in the Champions League. That is because Napoli, who sit in fifth place in Serie A and with four league games to play, are just two points behind Atalanta, Juventus and Milan – who sit in second, third and fourth. Inter Milan were confirmed as champions over the weekend, sitting top on 82. Gennaro Gattuso’s side have a real chance of qualifying for the Champions League come the end of the season.
Italian newspaper Tuttosport – as per Football Italia – report that Napoli want Alioski and while it is a surprise that a Champions League-chasing club want to sign him, it is not a surprise that Napoli want a Macedonian. In the past, they have boasted Macedonian legend Goran Pandev for the best part of 100 games, while the country’s newest star in Eljif Elmas continues to shine in Napoli’s midfield. Alioski could be added to that list.