Liverpool are reportedly at the ‘front of the queue’ of a host of Europe’s elite in the sweepstakes to sign Napoli defensive king Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegal star has developed into becoming one of the world’s premier central defenders over the past few years.
His talents have never been in doubt, and have been showcased to English audiences with a series of impeccable performances versus Liverpool in the last two Champions League group stages.
Despite being 29-years-old, Koulibaly is performing at a standard as high as ever, leading to widespread interest.
Liverpool and Man Utd were both recently put on notice after Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso made a surprising admission regarding his squad.
But it is Liverpool who have the upper hand according to the Italian press.
Liverpool’s interest is confirmed, with Koulibaly described as ‘widely expected to leave Napoli this summer.’
One stumbling block is voiced, however, coming predictably on the financial side.
Despite the very real threat of failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League looming, Napoli are expected to hold out for a gargantuan fee.
The price tag of €100m (£90.5m) is stated as being ‘requested’ by Napoli chief Auerlio De Laurentiis.
Liverpool recently indicated a lack of financial muscle was behind their decision to opt against triggering Timo Werner’s release clause.
Therefore, it seems unlikely any bid for Koulibaly would be forthcoming, unless Napoli alter their asking price accordingly.
Richarlison sent warning ahead of derby
Meanwhile, Everton forward Richarlison has been warned over comments he made towards Virgil van Dijk.
Van Dijk has been imperious this season, playing every minute of the 29 Premier League games so far. The proof of his quality is there for all to see, too, with the Reds dropping just five points so far.
However, Richarlison has reminded Van Dijk he has already “dribbled past him”. He also does not believe he is in the top three defenders in the world.
Richarlison told Desimpedidos: “People talk a lot about him, yes he is a great defender but I’ve already dribbled past him.
“He was chosen as one of the top three in the world as he had an excellent season. But yes, for me there are better defenders.”
When asked to name who, he replied: “Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos.”