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Real Madrid look to hijack Barcelona move for €65m target to bolster key area

Real Madrid have reportedly set their sights on the same transfer target as Barcelona, with both giants eyeing a move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

The 27-year-old has established himself as a fundamental figure in the heart of the Napoli backline for the past three seasons now and has undoubtedly emerged as one of the top centre-halves in Europe.

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With that in mind, it’s no surprise that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are said to be keen on signing him, with Mundo Deportivo noting earlier this week that the former even sent scouts to watch the €65m-rated ace in action against Liverpool in the Champions League.

With question marks over the form of Gerard Pique so far this season coupled with the lack of quality shown beyond Samuel Umtiti in summer signing Clement Lenglet and Thomas Vermaelen, it’s an area of coach Ernesto Valverde’s squad that arguably needs to be looked at.

However, that specific pursuit could now be complicated by the fact that Real Madrid are said to have entered the race with Don Balon also suggesting that Barcelona are keen and that Koulibaly is valued at €65m.

The two reports therefore seem to cross over, and so perhaps it is accurate in that both are interested with the reigning European champions facing a similar issue beyond Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.

Ramos will turn 33 next year while Koulibaly is still only 27, and so in terms of a long-term plan, which is also applicable to Barcelona with Pique, the Senegalese international appears to tick the right boxes.

Time will tell if either Spanish giant steps up their reported pursuit between now and next summer, but it’s suggested that both could be keeping a close eye on their defensive target to potentially address a crucial area of their respective squads next year.

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