Newcastle United are prepared to match Napoli’s asking price for a world class star, though a challenge on the player’s end must first be overcome, per a report.
Newcastle became the world’s richest club upon completion of their Saudi-led takeover on Thursday evening. With near-bottomless funds available and lofty ambitions from the new owners, St. James’ Park is poised to become a hotbed of transfer action.
While additions in the attacking areas often generate the most attention, defensive signings must not be overlooked.
Despite turning 30, Koulibaly remains one of European football’s most imposing defenders. Indeed, Manchester United were reportedly weighing up a summer swoop before settling on Raphael Varane.
Koulibaly’s contract in Naples expires in the summer of 2023. As such, a sale while the centre-half still retains a high value could appeal to Napoli over the next few windows.
The Boot Room article claims Napoli rate Koulibaly at £42.5m. That’s not a problem for Newcastle with their new owners reportedly ‘willing to pay Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis the £42.5million asking price needed.’
However, before Koulibaly can be seen in black and white stripes, his own personal concern must be overcome.
The defender reportedly holds reservations about joining a side that is currently slumped in 19th place. The absence of European football that would come with joining the Magpies is also duly noted.
Barring a miraculous turnaround, the club won’t have European football to offer next season either.
Whether Newcastle can convince Koulibaly to overcome his concerns, only time will tell. But if the article is accurate, it certainly sounds like they are intent on trying.
Chelsea old boy tips Lampard for Newcastle challenge
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard has been backed to take on the “challenge” of becoming the next Newcastle United manager by one of his former Chelsea players.
The ex-England midfielder has been mentioned fairly frequently in relation to the Newcastle job since the takeover. He is now named as a “leading contender” by The Sun, after The Telegraph suggested similar.
Talks with the 43-year-old could take place this week, but there are others in contention, such as Lucien Favre, Brendan Rodgers and Graham Potter.
However, Lampard would be the right man for the job according to former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud. Asked by talkSPORT if Lampard would be a good choice for Newcastle, Giroud said: “Yeah, definitely. I talked to him a little bit last year.
“I think he is looking forward for a good challenge to come back as a manager, and I think he is a good option. Definitely.
“I believe Newcastle is a big team in the Prem, and it’s a good challenge for him to bounce back and to show his quality.”