Liverpool face tough compromise, as Koulibaly exit involves striker target

Date published: Monday 6th July 2020 11:23 - Jonny Whitfield

Kalidou Koulibaly TEAMtalk

Napoli will put Liverpool-linked defender Kalidou Koulibaly up for sale after they reach a £70million agreement to sign Victor Osimhen, according to a report.

Koulibaly has maintained his status as one of Europe’s top centre-backs in his six-year stay in Italy.

Indeed, reports in the past few seasons have said Liverpool and Manchester City are keen as they look to bolster their defences.

City have a greater need for a centre-back, given the failure to replace Vincent Kompany last summer.

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has already admitted that he is open to selling Koulibaly for the right price. What’s more, manager Gennaro Gattuso said he could lose up to 30% of his squad this summer.

According to The Telegraph, Napoli will firm up their plans to sell Koulibaly when Osimhen arrives from Lille.

Napoli want to make the Nigerian their marquee signing and the clubs are currently £20million apart in transfer talks.

However, the newspaper says they will reach a compromise that will bring the 21-year-old to Italy.

Osimhen has scored 18 goals in his debut season for Lille. He signed as a direct replacement for Arsenal-bound Nicolas Pepe last summer.

 

Reports claim Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is “very interested” in Osimhen, despite his £75million price tag.

Should the deal go through, The Telegraph says in-demand Koulibaly will begin looking around Europe for the best move.

The key stumbling block will be the budgets of interested clubs which, due to the financial impact of the pandemic, have not been finalised.

In any case, the report claims neither Liverpool nor City have made any indication they will pursue Koulibaly as yet.

KOULIBALY CONTACTS OSIMHEN?

Victor Osimhen TEAMtalk

Elsewhere, another report claims Koulibaly has contacted Osimhen to convince him over a move to Serie A.

Corriere del Mezzogiorno (via Calciomercato) claims Koulibaly has eased the striker’s fears about racism in Italy.

Indeed, the report adds that Osimhen has already visited Naples and will make a decision on his future on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Klopp makes Thiago admission after transfer speculation

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