Napoli captain Marek Hamsik has confirmed that he turned down a life-changing offer to go to China in favour of remaining at the club after some persuasion by new head coach Carlo Ancelotti
The Slovakian midfielder had been strongly linked with a move to the Far East in the summer and appeared set at one point to complete a €30m transfer.
Hamsik revealed last week that he had set himself a deadline of July 9 to make a final decision on his future.
“It wasn’t the first time this possibility existed. Let’s say it would’ve set my family up for life,” he said.
“I gave myself a date of July 9, the date of our training camp, and that if nothing had happened by then, I’d have let it go.”
And now it turns out that Ancelotti was behind Hamsik’s u-turn on China with the Italian coach set to play him as a deep-lying playmaker for the new season.
“He called me many times when I was in Slovakia and told me that he wanted me in the team,” Hamsik explained to Sky, via Football-Italia.
“I was happy with that, and also to have stayed. Going to China would have changed my life, I won’t hide that and I said publicly that I’d have liked to go. I’m happy to keep wearing this shirt though.”
Hamsik has made 501 appearances for Napoli in all competitions and has scored 120 goals with 110 assists.