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The six times Serie A runners and two times champion, Napoli is in the top of the group table for their rock solid defence. And the centre-piece of that defensive monument is the centre back Kalidou Koulibaly. This 26 year old Senegalese moved for the blue sides back in 2014 from to the Stadio San Paolo for £6.5m from Genk. The Saint-Dié/Metz product has since gone on to polished himself as one of the most highly-qualified stoppers in the Italian League, though question arrived several times about his positional sense sometimes. But however, What cannot be doubted is his pure pace and power. His ability to physically dominate the opponent strikers impressed managers all over the Europe.
Excitement arrived when the rumours of the link to Barcelona came to the market. Reports had suggested that the Catalan side is highly desperate to sign this Senegal International and they are preparing for the negotiations for the January Window. This season Barcelona’s defence is rock solid yet, and the credit goes to Umtiti. Finding a long-term partner for this Frenchman was an agenda for Barcelona.
Yerry Mina has long been in the list but Kalidou’s name also came up with a tag of €60m. Recently his agent Satin broke all hopes for the Catalan supporters. “I am confident in Madrid’s interest in him, not Barcelona’s. I do not think Barca have the money to buy Koulibaly. Newspapers in Barcelona link him, but I would not give heed to that news.”
He stated in his latest statement and added that Koulibaly is an important piece in Napoli and now he is completely focusing the Italian League.
This 22-time capped international was also sought out by several Premier League big names during the summer. The top-flight coaches of EPL think his physical ability would be a tailor fit-in for the rough and tumble nature of Premier League.
Everton, Chelsea, Manchester City and even Southampton were interested with moves for the dominant stopper, with the latter eyeing him as a potential replacement for Virgil Van Dijk.
Everton was even reported to have made a mammoth offer of £50m+ to Napoli, but all of which were turned down.
However, the Partenopei are now ready to negotiate their key defensive piece, if a suitable offer is forthcoming.
It is reported that the Serie A leaders will open negotiations for a fee of £45m, though reports in Italy claim that offers must be closer to around £50m.
Along with the above-mentioned sides from the Premier League, La Liga giants Barcelona are also thought to maintain an interest in the services of Koulibaly. Though his agent mentioned about his stay for the blue side, who knows what lies in future!
Editor’s View : On The Loss To Roma!!
Losing 3-0 away from home is never positive for any manager or team and it will have surely hurt the morale of the Blues a bit, though they do know what is at stake at the weekend, when they face off against Manchester United at the Bridge. The hosts will have to win that one to keep their hopes of challenging for the Premier League title alive, as they look to retain the trophy that they won last term.