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Napoli sign Fenerbahce midfielder Elmas in €16m deal

4:43 pm AEST 23/7/19
eljifelmas-cropped
Carlo Ancelotti has already brought in defender Kostas Manolas this summer, but he may not be finished spending just yet

Eljif Elmas has joined Serie A side Napoli from Fenerbahce, the Turkish club have announced.

The North Macedonia international has joined the Italian club for €16 million (£14m/$18m), with an additional €1.5m in performance-based bonuses.

Fenerbahce will also receive a maximum of €1.5m if Napoli decide to sell Elmas in the future.

The 19-year-old had been linked with the Serie A club throughout the transfer window, and he will now fill the midfield void left by Amadou Diawara's transfer to Roma, with Marko Rog's also heading to Cagliari.

"Eljif, who wears our uniform at a young age and who is proud of being a supporter of Fenerbahce, carries our coat of arms with his potential and loyalty to our colours. Wish you a future full of success," Fenerbahce said in a statement.

"We believe that our footballer will represent Fenerbahce and our country in the best way in his new team."

Elmas joined Fenerbahce from North Macedonian side Rabotnicki in 2017.

He scored four goals in 29 league appearances last season as Fenerbahce finished sixth in the Super Lig.

The midfielder rejected the opportunity to represent Turkey, and instead made his North Macedonia debut in a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Spain at the age of 17.

He scored his first goals for his country with a brace in a 3-1 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Latvia earlier this year.

The transfer was expected as Napoli had been chasing Elmas for some time, while the midfielder was left out of Fenerbahce's recent pre-season tour of Austria.

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has already spent big this summer, bringing in Greek defender Kostas Manolas from Serie A rivals Roma for €36 million (‎£32m/$41m).

And he is also chasing Real Madrid's James Rodriguez, who is reportedly keen to reunite with his former manager but Los Blancos have thus far been steadfast over their asking price.

Napoli finished 11 points off champions Juventus last season, and Ancelotti knows the club must continue to bring in quality players if they are to close the gap at the top.

Lille winger Nicolas Pepe and Inter's Mauro Icardi have also been linked with a move in recent weeks as Ancelotti looks to bolster his attacking options for the upcoming season.