According to the various reports from Europe, Napoli defensive mainstay Kalidou Koulibaly is set to spark a transfer battle for his services in the summer as several top clubs from across Europe are vying to sign him. Barcelona have been credited with a strong interest in the 30-year-old, but the Catalans will now face competition from Premier League clubs Aston Villa and Newcastle United.
Koulibaly has been with Napoli for eight years now, having arrived from KRC Genk back in 2014. During his time with the Partenopei, the Senegalese defender has grown into one of the most reliable centre-backs in the game and has played a vital role in Napoli’s growth as regulars in European competitions.
Koulibaly has been linked with an exit from Naples on several occasions in the past. However, a move never materialised due to president Aurelio De Laurentiis’s outrageous asking price. But, that could change this summer as the 30-year-old is entering the final year of his contract with the Serie A outfit and has turned down an offer to extend his deal.
Barca is trying to exchange players
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis wants at least 35 million euros for Koulibaly, but Barcelona want to lower the price, so they plan to include Pjanic in the deal.
Both Koulibaly and Pjanic have the same agent in Fali Ramadani, which should allow transfer discussions between the two clubs to proceed more smoothly.
The Bosnian midfielder has spent the 2021/22 season on loan at Turkish giants Besiktas, where he supplied two assists in 20 Super Lig matches.
Pjanic has many years of Serie A experience having played for Roma from 2011 to 2016 and then Juventus from 2016 to 2020.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s agent has offered an update on the Napoli defender’s status amid speculation that Barcelona could try and sign the centre-back this summer.
Fali Ramadani has told the media that he’s not talking to any other clubs yet and wants to sit down with Napoli first.
“At the moment, there is no negotiation with other clubs regarding Kalidou’s future; we are waiting to meet the president of Napoli to define the best solution for the player and for the club.”
Koulibaly was linked with Newcastle before their takeover was completed. But of course, Magpies fans saw their club linked with almost every high-profile player around in those months.
This summer appears to be a genuine opportunity for the Senegal international to leave. And Newcastle obviously have the means to compete with most.
Newcastle did some brilliant business in January. The likes of Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes played vital roles in keeping Eddie Howe’s men in the Premier League.
The fans will hope for more of the same this summer. And Koulibaly would excite many. He has been outstanding for a long time. Pepe Reina previously labelled him ‘extraordinary‘.
The asking price is still very high. He will likely be a free agent next summer.