Chelsea made a huge offer to sign Napoli right-back Elseid Hysaj in the 2018 summer transfer window, according to the player’s agent Mario Giuffredi.
Hysaj was a key player at Napoli under Maurizio Sarri, who was keen on taking him to Stamford Bridge when he and midfielder Jorginho made the move last year.
Injuries and fitness issues have contributed to the 25-year-old Albanian making only four appearances in Serie A so far this campaign, and Giuffredi says he could leave the club on a free transfer.
“Whatever happens with him, the outcome will be great,” the agent told Radio Punto Nuovo.
“If we leave, we’ll do what we had to do in the summer. If we don’t leave, Napoli will lose the player on a free transfer, but it’ll always work out for us.
“A year and a half ago, Napoli could’ve taken €50 million (£43m/$56m) from Chelsea.
“If Hysaj stays at Napoli, the Neapolitan club risks losing the player for nothing.”
Hysaj has made more than 175 appearances for Napoli in all competitions since joining from Empoli in 2016. He had previously played under Sarri at Empoli, and followed him to Naples a year after his coach made the move.
An attack-minded full-back, he provided key width and drive from the right flank in Sarri’s popular Napoli side which threatened Juventus’ supremacy in Serie A.
He has been linked with plenty of big clubs around Europe during his time at Napoli, and it would not be a surprise to see rumours of a move to the Premier League resurface in the coming months – particularly if clubs believe they could get him on the cheap with his contract set to expire.
Chelsea have been linked with making another move for Hysaj, while the likes of Tottenham and Roma have also been mentioned.
“Roma is a club that Hysaj respects,” Giuffredi told Rete Sport last month.
“Let’s see if there will be interest from Roma in the next few months, at the moment nothing is happening.
“Napoli’s assessment of his price was €25-30m, but as time passes it will go down.
“Some time ago we talked to Napoli and were told his deal won’t be renewed.
“For three years Hysaj was the best right-back in Serie A. He can go to the top with another club.”