Just over a week ago Davide Santon was an inch away from becoming a new Sunderland player, before the deal collapsed at the last moment to the fury of Interisti around the world. The Wearside outfit had invited him to England for a medical after agreeing a €7m with Inter, only to then change the wage proposal on the table for the player and have the door indignantly slammed in their faces.
With that Santon returned to pre-season training at Brunico, but it was nothing more than a holding area for him until the club had found him a new destination, having been informed he was not part of Inter's plans for the coming season, and seven days on they have done just that. And this time there is unlikely to be the complication of a relegation clause being inserted into his contract.
After fleeting interest from Crystal Palace, Cagliari and Torino, it's Napoli who have somewhat surprisingly won the race for Santon, having identified him as an ideal reinforcement at right-back after Maurizio Sarri expressed some doubts over Silvan Widmer's ability to play in a four-man defence. Their interest in him first materialised on Thursday afternoon, and the desire of all parties to get the deal done has ensured that everything has pretty much been completed within two days, which means Santon has not departed for our tour of America with the rest of the Inter squad. If only ever transfer moved as quickly as that.
The Partenopei will pay Inter a fee of €6m after receiving the all clear from both them and the player, who probably can't believe his luck after almost signing for Sunderland, with the Italian has been offered a five-year contract and wages of just over €1m per season. Often Napoli have issues when it comes to negotiating players' image rights (unlike most other clubs, Aurelio De Laurentiis likes to have complete control of them for himself), but this hasn't been a problem with Santon as his current image rights deal runs out in the near future. According to Alfredo Pedulla, his medical should take place on either Monday or Tuesday, providing there are no hiccups at the eleventh hour.
And with that, we say goodbye to the last-remaining member of our treble-winning squad, although there are probably not going to be too many tears shed over this departure. Firstly because Santon has already left once and then come back, and secondly because he hasn't exactly demonstrated in these last 18 months to be an indispensable part of our squad. I will always be fond of Davide, but this is the best solution for everyone.