Liverpool should do all in their power to sign Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, with the defender an ‘upgrade’ on Joe Gomez.
That’s according to former Manchester United favourite Dimitar Berbatov. He reckons the powerful Napoli defender is one of the few players in the world game who can improve Jurgen Klopp’s title-winning squad.
The Reds were dominant as they claimed a first domestic league title since 1990 – only Watford, Man City and Arsenal managed to beat them.
Much of their success has been down to the fantastic form at the heart of their defence. Indeed our Red Letter feature argued the Dutchman should have retained his Player of the Year crown.
Gomez is probably regarded as Van Dijk’s best central defensive partner. But with Dejan Lovren having joined Zenit St Petersburg in a £10.9m switch, there remains room for Liverpool to bring in a new centre-half.
Liverpool have since been linked with plenty of names, with Ozan Kabak strongly mentioned. Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly and Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi have also been touted as targets.
However, Berbatov reckons Liverpool should spend big and meet the price needed to prise Koulibaly from Napoli.
“I’m not sure they need to change too much, maybe a centre-back better than Joe Gomez to play with Van Dijk,” he told Betfair.
“Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli would be an excellent signing.
“But apart from that the Reds have an excellent team.”
And Berbatov thinks he too would prove an excellent addition.
Berbatov added: “I see they’ve been linked with Thiago. I like him, but if he comes, who doesn’t play so he can start?
“He can play with Fabinho and Henderson and they will be even more powerful. But I’m not certain they need him.”
De Laurentiis discusses Koulibaly future
The Senegal defender, also wanted by Man City, carried a mammoth €90m price tag.
But De Laurentiis has suggested it could be time the Serie A side cash in.
Speaking to Sky Italia, cited on Goal, he said: “Kalidou is a great person, I would be terribly sad to lose him. But there is a time for everything, even to move apart.
“But the €90m is not on the table and so it takes two to make a deal.”