Napoli, founded in 1926, are one of Italy’s most historic clubs, with a trophy cabinet consisting of two Serie A titles, six Coppa Italia titles, two SuperCoppa Italiana titles, and one UEFA Cup.
The club plays their home matches at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, a tribute to their greatest ever player.
However, the Argentine legend is not among the club’s 10 most expensive departures, a list in which Kalidou Koulibaly joined last summer when he left the club to join Premier League giants Chelsea.
READ: Juventus’ 10 biggest sales of all time
Below, FootballTransfers details Napoli’s 10 most expensive departures in history.
10. Roberto Inglese – €21.8m (Parma, 2020)
Roberto Inglese’s situation is perhaps the strangest on this list, as he never actually played for Napoli.
The 30-year-old striker was signed from Chievo and was immediately loaned back to his old club, where he scored 12 times in 34 Serie A appearances.
Inglese spent the next two seasons on loan at Parma, before eventually being sold as a result of an obligation to buy.
9. Simone Verdi – €22m (Torino, 2020)
Simone Verdi signed a five-year contract at Napoli, in 2018, having signed from Bologna for €25m.
In his first and only season, the Italian forward scored three times in 22 appearances in a disappointing campaign.
The following season was spent on loan at Torino, before making the deal permanent for a €22m.
8. Fabian Ruiz – €23m (PSG, 2022)
Fabian Ruiz enter this list after leaving Napoli to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2022.
The Spaniard was one of numerous midfield acquisitions made by the Parisians during the same transfer window, arriving in the same summer as Vitinha, Carlos Soler and Renato Sanches.
He left Napoli after consolidating himself as one of Europe’s most talented, but perhaps underrated, midfielders. Ruiz helped PSG to Ligue 1 glory during his first season at the Parc des Princes.
7. Allan – €24.6m (Everton, 2020)
Napoli saw off interest from a number of clubs for Udinese midfielder Allan, who made an impressive start by setting up a goal for Gonzalo Higuain on his debut for the club.
and streeeeetch! pic.twitter.com/E9MBn3oaBy
— Everton (@Everton) July 15, 2022
The Brazilian also made a positive impression in the Champions League at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona across his five seasons.
Carlo Ancelotti’s ambitious Everton plan convinced him to leave the club, though – a move he may well now regret making. Allan left Goodison Park to join Al-Wahda in 2022.
6. Ezequiel Lavezzi – €30m (PSG, 2012)
Ezequiel Lavezzi’s five years at Napoli were successful, both individually and collectively.
Naploi won the Coppa Italia in the 2011-12 season, his last, while they also competed in the Champions League, losing to eventual winners Chelsea at the quarter final in his final campaign.
Lavezzi was a consistently good player, scoring between six and nine goals in every one of his Serie A seasons from a wide position.
He was sold to PSG in 2012 as the French club looked to make a mark in the Champions League.
5. Kalidou Koulibaly – €38m (Chelsea, 2022)
Kalidou Koulibaly had been rated as one of Europe’s leading centre-backs for a number of years before he finally left Napoli in 2022.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 16, 2022
Indeed, he was linked with several Champions League clubs during his time at Napoli, but only managed to get his big move away at 31 years of age.
Chelsea landed on the Senegal international to partner Thiago Silva and replace Madrid-bound Antonio Rudiger, but the move didn’t worked out.
Koulibaly fell out of favour under Graham Potter, and Chelsea signed Benoit Badiashile in January 2023, who took Koulibaly’s place in the starting XI. The former Napoli man was then sold to Al-Hilal, with Chelsea selling him for a €15m loss after just one year.
4. Min-jae Kim – €50m (Bayern, 2023)
Min-jae Kim was a bargain buy when Napoli purchased him for just €18.1m from Fenerbahce in 2022.
One year later, after helping Napoli win the Scudetto for the first time since 1990, he was sold to Bayern Munich for €50m.
Manchester United were also interested, but Kim opted to join Thomas Tuchel at Bayern instead. Kim was voted as the Serie A ‘Defender of the Year’ after his only campaign at Napoli.
3. Jorginho – €57m (Chelsea, 2018)
Another of Chelsea’s biggest signings in recent seasons was Jorginho, who swapped Naples for London alongside Maurizio Sarri.
Jorginho was pivotal to Sarri’s side in Italy, in a deep-lying playmaker role, so the coach decided to bring the player to Stamford Bridge with him.
It is safe to say Chelsea fans didn’t take to Jorginho in the same manner as Napoli fans though, who were highly disappointed to see him leave. Blues supporters were even thankful to see him depart when he joined their London rivals Arsenal in January 2023.
2. Edinson Cavani – €64.5m (PSG, 2013)
Edinson Cavani made the same move as the aforementioned Lavezzi, albeit a season later.
That meant that Napoli lost their two best players, outside of Marek Hamsik, to PSG in the space of a year.
Cavani’s goal record at Napoli was superb, scoring 52 times in 69 Serie A appearances, and continued in a similar vein in Paris – proving to be excellent value, even at that price.
1. Gonzalo Higuain – €90m (Juventus, 2016)
Gonzalo Higuain’s Real Madrid goal record (107 in 190 La Liga games) is better than most people realise, and so it shouldn’t have come as a shock to see what the Argentine achieved in Serie A – but it did to some degree.
71 goals in 104 Serie A appearances is remarkable, a similar rate to Cavani’s – but over an extra season.
However, Higuain was not sold to a foreign club, instead to domestic rivals Juventus in an astonishing €90m deal – one which allowed the 34-year-old to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo again.