Barcelona have reportedly launched a huge €120m offer for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, while they’ve received €42m for the sale of Paulinho.
The Catalan giants have been relatively leaky at the back so far this season, conceding 19 goals in 17 La Liga games.
That’s enough to give them the joint-second worst defensive record of the top eight sides in the standings, and so coach Ernesto Valverde will undoubtedly be eager to tighten things up.
Samuel Umtiti’s injury problems haven’t helped, but as noted by Sky Sports, Barca have a short-term solution in place at least after Jeison Murillo joined the club last month on a loan deal until the end of the season.
Whether or not he earns a permanent move from Valencia remains to be seen, but as noted by Calciomercato, via the paper edition of Il Mattino, it’s been suggested that Barcelona have set their sights much higher with a €120m offer being touted for Koulibaly.
The Senegalese international has been a rock at the back for Napoli for several seasons now, and he has certainly established himself as one of the top centre-halves in Europe.
Further, he could be ideal for Barcelona given he is also comfortable and composed in possession and can build out from the back.
However, that is a hefty price-tag and it remains to be seen if that’s a fee Barcelona are genuinely willing to splash out on him while Real Madrid are also specifically mentioned as an interested party.
It’s noted that the Brazilian midfielder officially completed his move to Guangzhou Evergrande last week, and that he will cost them €42m, while a further €8m is said to have been saved on his wages.
In turn, that has proven to be a sensible bit of business from the La Liga champions, and it remains to be seen how they choose to invest that money back in the squad, on Koulibaly or otherwise.