David Ospina believes Napoli have cold feet about selecting him at the moment because an appearance-based clause inserted in his loan contract will force a permanent transfer on both parties in the summer.
Recognising that the Colombian’s doesn’t have a long-term future at the Emirates, Arsenal are thought to have insisted on the clause when they agreed to loan the keeper to the Serie A side in August.
The 30-year-old went on to feature 17 times in the first half of the season, including all six of Napoli’s Champions League group stage matches, but has fallen out of favour in recent weeks now that fellow summer signing Alex Meret has recovered from a broken arm.
“My current situation is that I am on loan for this season and there is a clause based on a certain number of games, where if I play, the transfer will become an automatic purchase,” Ospina said.
“When the situation does not depend on me, all I can do is wait for the decision to be made, which in this case is from Napoli. The club had just made a great purchase with [Alex] Meret, who is a young goalkeeper with a great future, so I knew that when he came, this might happen.
“He is a great goalkeeper, and we have a great relationship. I’m sure he will be a very important player in the future.”
If Napoli don’t view Ospina as a first choice keeper, you can certainly understand why they’ve chosen to bench him. It’s a strange situation for the player; would he want to move to a club knowing he’s not the first choice? At 30-years-old, you’d imagine he wants regular football, so maybe not. It’s probably why he sounds so resigned to spending time on the sidelines.