Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed goalkeeper David Ospina will remain at the club next season.
Ospina is currently on loan from Arsenal but his future looked to be in doubt when the player revealed a clause in his contract.
Is Ospina’s future set in stone? Five key things to know…
- Ospina joined Napoli last summer on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season.
- The deal has an option to buy embedded within it, which Ospina revealed would become mandatory after a certain number of games.
- As a result, Ospina’s future had been thrown into doubt as the goalkeeper was linked with a move to Boca Juniors.
- But Ancelotti has now confirmed Ospina will remain at Napoli next season.
- Ospina has played 18 games for Napoli this season, sharing game time with Alex Meret.
The Colombian has been rotated in goal with 21-year-old Alex Meret throughout the season but recently missed four games in a row including a Europa League tie against FC Zurich.
Ospina predicted that had been down to a clause in his loan deal which meant Napoli would have to buy him from Arsenal after he reached a certain number of appearances.
But Ancelotti has now confirmed Ospina will be retained by Napoli next season, hinting at the club triggering the option to buy.
“Ospina was meant to play on Thursday in the Europa League, but wasn’t feeling up to it, so I switched things around and used him tonight instead,” Ancelotti told reporters (via Football Italia) after a 0-0 draw with Torino.
“Ospina will remain at Napoli next season, regardless of how many games he plays.”
If Ospina had returned to Arsenal in the summer, he would once again have to settle for back up with Bernd Leno making the number one shirt his own.
What does the future hold for Ospina?
The clause in Ospina’s contract came to light thanks to comments from the goalkeeper himself, who was speaking of his recent lack of playing time.
“My current situation is that I am on loan for this season and there is a clause based on a certain number of games, where if I play, the transfer will become an automatic purchase,” the Colombian said.
“When the situation does not depend on me, all I can do is wait for the decision to be made, which in this case is from Napoli.
“The club had just made a great purchase with Meret, who is a young goalkeeper with a great future, so I knew that when he came, this might happen.
“He is a great goalkeeper, and we have a great relationship. I’m sure he will be a very important player in the future.”
This immediately brought around conversations over the goalkeeper’s future, with his Arsenal contract up next summer and Petr Cech retiring at the end of the season.
And although his immediate future is almost certainly tied to Napoli now, the 30-year-old admitted his openness on a return to South America with Boca Juniors among those linked.
He added: “I am open for a move closer to home.”