A player reportedly on the radar of Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton, plus Newcastle United, is not leaving his club for any less than around £90million, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are believed to be the frontrunners in the race to sign Napoli ace Kalidou Koulibaly, with Dejan Lovren potentially set to leave Anfield and move in the opposite direction, the Italian outlet has claimed.
The Senegal international, who played under Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli, is also thought to be on the Goodison Park side’s radar, according to a report in Gazzetta Dello Sport from February.
French publication Le 10 Sport, meanwhile, have recently reported that Newcastle – on the verge of a potentially lucrative takeover – have approached Koulibaly with an offer of €12million (£10.5million)-per-season, which would work out at around £200,000-a-week.
“Koulibaly is the best centre-back in the world – and he has more room for improvement,” Ancelotti told The Independent when both men were still at Napoli. “He is worth £130million and he is non-transferable.”
However, Napoli – who are awaiting the outcome of how the Italian campaign will be decided in wake of the global health crisis and suspension of football – are reportedly refusing to drop their asking price for the defender.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli bosses are open to selling the Senegal international, but will demand at least £90million, budging no further after being forced to drop their initial price tag by £20million.
Koulibaly is a tall, quick and strong centre-back of the highest order, boasting an array of skills including aerial prowess, tackling, reading of the game, and superb passing abilities.
In terms of value, Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis told ESPN that the player has a £150million clause but reckons he would be worth around £250million if valued in line with Harry Maguire, who cost Manchester United £85million last summer.
El Desmarque, meanwhile, claimed in December that Napoli wanted around £90million for Koulibaly, and this price is now being quoted again – given a player of Koulibaly’s calibre, he’s likely to be one of the strongest assets and less likely to depreciate in value amid the financial uncertainty in the football industry.