Barcelona scout £45m-rated Chelsea, Liverpool target

Date published: Wednesday 18th October 2017 9:26

Barcelona have scouted Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and are closely tracking his progress, according to a report in Spain.

Koulibaly, a long-term Chelsea target, played in Napoli’s back four that were beaten 2-1 by Man City last night, but he has been an impressive performer this season.

He has played in every minute of Napoli’s 100% start to the Serie A season – eight straight victories and he has helped Maurizio Sarri’s men keep four clean sheets in those fixtures.

Mundo Deportivo report that Barca scouted the 26-year-old centre-back in Napoli’s recent 1-0 win over Roma and they are hopeful of strengthening their defence in the next two transfer windows.

Koulibaly has been on Chelsea’s radar for some time and they are understood to have had a £38million bid for the player rejected in the summer of 2016.

Liverpool were also been linked with the powerful defender after their efforts to prise Virgil van Dijk from Southampton came to an embarrassing end in the summer.

 Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli claimed in the Sports Review that Liverpool submitted an opening offer of £36.7million (€42million) for the player.

The Italian club though have always been determined to keep hold of the defender, who is contracted until 2021 and rated in the £45million bracket.

And it seems the Senegal star has a debt of gratitude towards Sarri.

“He rediscovered me, he gave me confidence,’ Koulibaly told Il Messaggero earlier this month.

“He really is a genius, he sees things others don’t see. He makes you understand how football is and isn’t unpredictable. He’s a scholar.

“Any question you ask him, he always has an answer – and it’s always right. He helps you to think as a team and not as an individual.”

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