Italian outlet Napoli Magazine have claimed that Liverpool could offer a player-plus-cash deal to sign Napoli giant Kalidou Koulibaly this summer – with striker Divock Origi touted as the best candidate for such an offer.
Koulibaly, 28, has been strongly linked with a move to England. French outlet Le10Sport claim Newcastle have tabled a huge £200,000-a-week offer, while Gianluca Di Marzio told Sky Sports that Tottenham really want him.
It comes after Koulibaly enjoyed another excellent campaign with Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli, even though the Italian side have struggled in Serie A. They remain unbeaten in the Champions League, though.
Koulibaly has been valued at figures close to a £100million of late, but it appears Liverpool may look to throw themselves ahead of their rivals by including Origi plus a fee of £53.5million. Origi is expected to leave this summer.
TBR’s view – Is Koulibaly worth such an outlay?
Losing £10million signing (BBC) Origi is a blow given his fan favourite status after a brace in the Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona – and then a stunning finish in the final against Tottenham.
Origi is able to play in Sadio Mane and Mo Salah’s roles, as well as offering a plan B as a proper, number nine striker. But given he has played back-up for so long, the Belgian would be forgiven for finally leaving.
The cash sum is expensive but it could be worse and losing Origi in such a deal is not the end of the world – especially for a player in Koulibaly who could help form one of the best ever centre-back pairings with Virgil van Dijk.