Kalidou Koulibaly could yet secure a transfer to the Premier League this summer after a telling admission from Napoli president.
Koulibaly has become one of the strongest defenders in the world during his time in Naples. However, after six years there, it may be time to move on.
Man Utd have been following the Senegalese centre-back for a long time. Napoli’s price demands have always been a problem, though.
In the current climate, however, United may have a better chance to land their perfect partner for Harry Maguire at the back. Napoli are under pressure to raise funds, meaning they can no longer demand such a high fee for Koulibaly.
With talk of a reduction of his once €100m asking price, a number of other suitors have begun sniffing round. The likes of Real Madrid, PSG and Liverpool have been linked, though City are now favourites to sign him.
Gazzetta dello Sport have claimed Koulibaly could leave for a more modest €70m this summer.
And while Fabio Di Laurentiis was giving nothing away about his price, he did have a message for the player’s suitors.
“You don’t have to ask me if Koulibaly will play for Napoli again,” the Napoli president said. “You have to ask Manchester United, Manchester City and PSG. They are the teams who can afford to pay certain amounts today.”
“I see many buzzards on the transfers market – you know who they are. They seem to be waiting to swoop in, but we have impenetrable armour and they’ll not get what they want or at the prices they want.”
Napoli ready to sell Koulibaly
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.”
It remains to be seen whether City will be willing to go quite so high for the former Gent man. But with Napoli, for once, willing to sell, there is room for negotiation.
Koulibaly for his part is said to be ready to try his luck in the Premier League next upon his Napoli exit.