NAPLES, ITALY - APRIL 17: Gokhan Inler of Udinese and Marek Hamsik of Napoli in action during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Udinese Calcio at Stadio San Paolo on April 17, 2011 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Gokhan Inler Finally Joins Napoli After A Month Long Transfer Saga

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Gokhan Inler Finally Joins Napoli After A Month Long Transfer Saga

Since April, when Gokhan Inler refused to celebrate after scoring for Udinese in their away victory at the San Paolo, it's been almost a given that he would move to Napoli in the summer. Yet weeks turned into months, and still Inler hadn't arrived in Naples. Napoli and Inler couldn't agree on personal terms. There was speculation that Juventus had made him an offer. Then Francesco Guidolin said that it was 95% certain that the midfielder would remain at Udinese. Finally, the two clubs set a deadline: make a decision by Monday or Inler must report to pre-season training.

On Sunday night, Inler's name had been removed from Nike's list of sponsored players -- one of the details that needed to be ironed out with the player. Still, this was Napoli, a club that more or less announced the firing of their coach, Walter Mazzarri, the week after he'd taken them into the Champions League. Shortly thereafter, it released a statement saying everything was rosy with Walter. So Napoli fans really did have to see to believe.

Napoli being Napoli, again, they announced the signing in a typically crazy fashion: at the shirt launch, they brought out Inler wearing the new kit -- but with his face hidden behind a lion's mask:

 

Seems logical, really. But the Swiss international, one of the stalwarts in an impressive Udinese side last season, is finally part of the partenopei, and he couldn't be more thrilled about it. Read his official statement and get a little teary-eyed.

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