Napoli have reportedly been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of Bologna's star striker Simone Verdi, as the talented forward has apparently turned down a move to the Serie A league leaders.
Sky Sports Italia journalist Gianluca di Marzio broke the news on his official Twitter account, confirming the suggestions that Verdi would reject the move to continue his run of first team football with his current side.
The Italy international has been in excellent form for Bologna this season - scoring six goals and registering five assists in 20 league appearances.
The versatile 25-year-old is capable of playing either on the right wing or in a more central attacking position, which has made him an invaluable asset to both club and country.
The dynamic forward's decision to stay at Bologna could trigger a Napoli swoop for Barcelona ace Gerard Deulofeu, who is hotly tipped to be the club's second choice behind Verdi.
Napoli headed into the Serie A winter break at the top of the league, as they look to stop Juventus winning their seventh title in a row. The 2017/18 campaign has been refreshing for neutral viewers of the competition, with the likes of Roma and Inter also challenging for the Serie A serial winners' crown.
After struggling to win a first team spot during two spells with AC Milan, Verdi eventually left the San Siro sleeping giants in the pursuit of first team football last season.
The stability appears to have worked wonders for the tenacious forward - who journeyman loan spells saw the player fail to make an impact at a number of Italian sides.
Napoli are also believed to be bracing themselves for an audition £10m bid for their starting goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who is reportedly being targeted by Premier League strugglers Newcastle United.
Their manager Rafael Benítez is reportedly eager to link up with his former Liverpool stopper, despite the 35-year-old entering the twilight of his career.