Liverpool's hopes of securing the services of Piotr Zielinski have all but ended after Napoli confirmed his signing from Udinese. The Naples club and the Merseysiders had been heavily linked with the 22-year-old midfielder throughout the summer transfer window but the Serie A side have beaten the Reds to his signature after receiving fresh funds from the sale of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus to complete the deal.
The Poland international revealed in April that manager Jurgen Klopp was interested in luring him to the Premier League following his successful loan spell at Empoli during the 2015-2015 campaign.
"There is a lot of truth in rumours about Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp is interested in me, we had some talks," Zielinski told Sportowe Fakty, Goal reported.
Napoli later joined the race to secure his services but earlier in June president Aurelio de Laurentiis conceded they were ready to the battle with Liverpool as the player preferred a move to Anfield – despite sealing the deal with Udinese to sign the midfielder.
"I negotiated for Zielinski with the Pozzo family [Udinese's owners] and we finalised every detail," De Laurentiis was then quoted as saying by Corriere dello Sport. "Instead, it now seems as if the player is doing everything possible to resist the move and not come here. He wants Liverpool."
However, the Reds have since stalled in negotiations to complete the deal. BBC claimed earlier last month that the Italian side had turned down their £11.7m offer for the Poland midfielder despite being identical to the one they had previously accepted from Napoli.
Udinese sporting director Nereo Bonato later claimed there were still several clubs in the race for his services but Napoli have since confirmed their successful deal through an official club statement.
"SSC Napoli announces that we have acquired the services of Sebastian Piotr Zielinski from Udinese on permanent basis," the Italian club claimed.
Napoli have however refused to disclose the details of the deal but La Gazzetta Dello Sport reported the club had finally paid around €15m (£12.7m) to secure the midfielder's transfer, plus the loan of Juan Camilo Zuñiga, who will play at Watford due to a partnership with Udinese.