The 25-year-old has been in sensational form for Zenit, scoring goals aplenty in both the Russian Premier League and Champions League.
With his career on an upward trajectory, Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli sees Azmoun as the perfect Dries Mertens successor.
Mertens has yet to sign a new deal with the Naples club, and has been heavily linked with Chelsea.
Giuntoli wants Mertens’ situation to be clarified first, but is laying the foundations to sign Azmoun.
Napoli have reportedly already contacted Zenit through intermediaries to discuss a deal. Azmoun is valued at around €15m but Napoli would hope to pay less up-front and include bonuses.
Leandrinho or Lozano to go first?
The Serie A club would have one more obstacle to overcome if they were to sign Azmoun. The Partenopei currently have no non-EU spots free, but could sell Leandrinho, who joined in 2017. After three seasons, Napoli want to offload the young Brazilian, who has failed to break through at the Stadio San Paolo.
Another option is to sell Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano, described by Gazzetta as ‘the top of the flops’. Lozano was Napoli’s club-record buy at €42m when he signed from PSV Eindhoven last August, but has not impressed so far.
However, club owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has no intention of losing money on Lozano, and would only sell for a big offer.
Former Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti is rumoured to be interested in a reunion with Lozano at Everton.