Man City have moved one step closer to securing the signature of an elite defender after personal terms were agreed, claims a report.
Man City averaged 99 points per season between 2017-19, but let their standards slip as Liverpool claimed their first Premier League title last year.
A not insignificant 81 points were accrued, but vital points were dropped amid frequent defensive lapses.
The knee injury suffered by Aymeric Laporte left quality options at centre-back severely limited in his absence. However, Pep Guardiola has acted fast to ensure such a scenario does not repeat itself this season.
Former Cherry Nathan Ake was brought in for £41m, but the additions at centre-half may not stop there.
The Senegal international, 29, has developed into one of the world’s finest centre-backs during his six-year stint in Naples.
Several imposing displays against Liverpool in the Champions League showcased his abilities to English audiences. While Man City and Man Utd were reported to both have paid particularly close attention.
The door was left ajar to his Serie A departure following comments from Napoli president Aurelio Di Laurentiis, who noted both Manchester clubs are just two of a few who could afford to finance such a deal.
A fee of between €70m-€80m has previously been speculated as sufficient to green-light the move and Koulibaly is described in the report as being open to moving on from Napoli.
The player is revered with the club, however, and is unlikely to force through a move if the club make clear their intentions not to sell.
City duo picked as world’s elite
Legendary former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has pointed to a Premier League trio including a Liverpool colossus as the three leaders in world football in their position.
The Spaniard made his name with 17 years of faultless service at boyhood club Barcelona.
The 40-year-old won every honour available to him during his time at the Nou Camp, and was instrumental in Spain’s transition from nearly men to serial winners on the international stage.
A spell in Qatar with Al-Sadd rounded out Xavi’s playing career, leading to his current position as manager of the club.
Many might have expected the legendary figure to choose familiar faces from his time in La Liga when deciding on the world’s best, but instead, Xavi opted to select a Premier League trio.