Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has paid tribute to Marek Hamsik ahead of the midfielder's expected move to China, telling him he is always welcome at Stadio San Paolo.

Carlo Ancelotti confirmed at the weekend that Hamsik had asked to leave Napoli, with reports suggesting he could sign for Dalian Yifang as soon as Monday.

De Laurentiis would not confirm the apparently imminent switch at a news conference, but he explained why he was willing to sanction the departure of a club icon.

"Hamsik asked to leave at a time when we are more than consolidated in midfield," said De Laurentiis. "This would not give us a problem and Ancelotti gave his approval.

"There is a big difference between the Chinese and the Neapolitans and now let's see what happens. I have told Hamsik that this is his home. Even if he wants to come back, we'll be happy to welcome him back.

"It's a beautiful story. He has always done his duty. He is impeccable.

"You want to know everything that will happen with Marek, but we will not talk about him. There is nothing more to be said regarding the future of Hamsik.

"Now we talk about Trentino [Napoli's pre-season camp], then in three, four or five days, we will talk about Hamsik."

Illustrious career

Hamsik joined Napoli from Brescia in a €5.5million deal in July 2007 and has since been one of Serie A's standout performers, scoring 100 league goals in 408 appearances.

The 31-year-old helped Napoli to triumphs in the Coppa Italia twice and in the 2014 Supercoppa Italiana, while last season he surpassed Diego Maradona as the club's all-time record goalscorer.