Napoli have confirmed the signing of 27-year-old centre back Raul Albiol as Rafa Benitez looks to shore up the Serie A runners-up's often-shaky defence. Albiol, who's spent the last four seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu with Real Madrid, has signed a four-year contract with Napoli, and should more than adequately replace the departing Hugo Campagnaro.
From Real's perspective, the move makes total sense with the emergence of Rafael Varane as one of Europe's top young centre backs. Albiol was already a reserve player -- his only season as a starter for Los Blancos was his first -- and with Varane turning into a a cornerstone of the side there's no doubt that Albiol was expendable, even though he'd only recently signed a contract extension. A €12 million fee for a player who'd only rarely have taken the pitch seems perfectly acceptable for Real.
Napoli, meanwhile, have money in abundance following the sale of Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain, and they have holes to fill all over the place. Expect more players to come in -- the Partenopei will need a right back and at least one ace centre forward if they want to maintain their level from last season.