Hamsik hints at Napoli exit amid China talk

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The Slovakian midfielder has spent 11 years with the Serie A club, but he could be on the move this summer after opening himself up to a new adventure

Marek Hamsik has hinted that he could bring a record-breaking 11-year spell at Napoli to a close this summer, with his services being sought in China.

The 30-year-old midfielder is the latest high-profile figure to be linked with a move from Europe to Asia, with Barcelona icon Andres Iniesta currently exploring similar options.

Hamsik has shunned interest from afar in the past to remain loyal to Napoli, allowing him to take in 500 appearances and become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

He is, however, aware that he has reached a point in his career where a new challenge can be embraced, and he may be about to open himself up to offers.

Quizzed on his future plans by Pravda, Hamsik said: “I’m disappointed that we missed out on the title again. I’m sorry, because our great fans deserve this triumph, and I thank them for their great support.

“I’ve spent all this time here, giving all my strength. Maybe now is the time when our paths will diverge. I’d like to try something new.”

Hamsik’s father, Richard, has also suggested that a new chapter could be opened this summer, with Chinese Super League sides having already expressed an interest.

He added: “The interest is serious but negotiations aren’t easy.

“For three years Marek has dismissed any idea of leaving, only focusing on winning the Scudetto with Napoli, but they’ve failed to do that again.

“The problem is that it’s not the main transfer window in China right now, that only happens in winter.

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“So the first question, therefore, is when he would leave for China. Clubs have different ideas, the Asian season is up and running and Chinese teams have limits on the number of foreigners in their squad.

“Another thing is that Marek still has a three-year contract in Naples, so it’s all in the hands of his agents and his employer.

“Right now I see it as being 60-40 in favour of his departure to China. Now Marek's agent, Juraj Venglos, is going to talk to the president of the club.”

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