Serie A side Napoli have set their asking price for star centre back Kalidou Koulibaly, who is wanted by both Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The 27-year-old has emerged as one of the world’s top defenders since joining Napoli in 2014. He immediately became a key player in Naples and, under Maurizio Sarri, was given the chance to showcase his physicality and ability on the ball. His impressive form was recently rewarded as Koulibaly signed a new five-year contract with the club.
Italian outlet La Republicca, as cited by Calciomercato, state that Napoli will only consider an offer of at least €100m (around £88m), but would hope to receive offers of almost twice that amount. Koulibaly’s new contract means Napoli will not be forced into selling their star defender, giving them full control of the Senegalese centre back’s future.
The report claims that Manchester United made an offer of around €90m for Koulibaly during the summer, but Napoli were not prepared to entertain the offer as it fell short of their asking price. Barcelona and Real Madrid are both named as interested parties, but it is unlikely that either would be prepared to meet Napoli’s astronomical asking price for Koulibaly.
New Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti is believed to be a huge fan of Koulibaly, as the defender is the only Napoli player to have featured in every game for the side this season. He has played every minute of Napoli’s ten matches to date, and appears to be a permanent fixture of the side.
As a result, an offer of €100m would likely be refused by Napoli, who are seemingly determined to keep the 27-year-old at the club. Should any club meet the asking price, Koulibaly would become the world’s most expensive defender, overtaking the £75m fee paid by Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk.
Koulibaly has 174 Napoli appearances to his name and is also a key member for his country of Senegal. He featured in all three of Senegal’s World Cup matches this summer as his side failed to advance from the group stage.