Napoli value Marek Hamsik at 100 million euros (£90million) and claim they would rather sell to Inter Milan than AC Milan.
Speculation has suggested that the Slovakia international is a target for both of the Milan giants, having becoming a prominent figure in Italian football over recent years.
His creative talents mark him out as one of Serie A's leading lights and the rumours regarding his future have come as no surprise.
Hamsik has acknowledged the reported interest in his services and has revealed that a move to reigning champions AC Milan could be considered 'professional development'.
He told Gazetta dello Sport: "It would be professional development, so I cannot promise Napoli anything. They are one of the most successful clubs in the world."
Napoli are reluctant to part with the 23-year-old, though, and have slapped a hefty price tag on his head.
It is hoped that will warn off any potential suitors, but president Aurelio De Laurentiis has made it clear that he would prefer to do business with Inter rather than AC should his hand be forced.
He told Corriere dello Sport: "He costs 100 million euros. Besides, if I really do have to sell Hamsik, I'd give him to Inter.
"(Milan vice-president) Adriano Galliani never asked me for him, whereas (Inter president) Massimo Moratti did and was very polite about it.
"He asked me three years ago for Hamsik, then two months ago enquired if anything had changed. I replied no, but I was impressed by his attitude.
"I promised to Moratti that if things do change, then Inter will have a sort of moral option on Hamsik."