Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is interested in increasing the profile of the Neopolitan club by taking them to China during the summer break. The Italian side has done well in Europe this season and they came close to reaching the quarter-finals after winning the first leg of their round-of-16 encounter with Chelsea. They lost the return leg at Stamford Bridge, however, but their exploits in Europe has earned them many admirers across the continent. Marek Hamsik, Edinson Cavani and Ezquiel Lavezzi form a potent attacking trio and have helped Napoli score 60 goals in the league. Only defending champions AC Milan have scored more and the players’ performances have attracted the attention of a number of scouts from the leading clubs of Europe and Napoli could very well have a hard time keeping hold of their star players. But De Laurentiis is keen to build on the season’s showing and he wants to increase their stature by taking them to China in the coming months in order to win some new fans from Asia. He also hopes to scout the region and believes that the clubs there would do better to focus more on developing talented youngsters instead of recruiting fading European stars such as Nicolas Anelka. “The first thing I want to do this summer is to take the team to China as part of preparations for the upcoming season,” he told Calciomercato.com on Thursday. “If they continue to buy players over 30 who are approaching retirement, Chinese football will never take off. “They should give us the chance to import young and ambitious players, 17 and 18-year-olds.” The side from Naples currently has a chance of achieving third place, the last spot for gaining entry to the Champions League qualifying stages. With Lazio’s 2-1 loss to Novara on Wednesday, they are now within a point of Edy Reja’s side with four games left. They have to win a tricky encounter with Roma on Saturday first, however, and Lazio visit Udinese on Sunday. All four sides are chasing the third-place spot and will be paying close attention to the results from this weekend.
Napoli interested in China tour