Barcelona are reportedly setting their sights on Napoli duo Fabian Ruiz and Kalidou Koulibaly, but it certainly won’t be cheap to prise them away.
The Catalan giants have made their worst start to a La Liga season in 25 years having only picked up seven points in their opening five games.
Coupled with their fortunate goalless draw at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last week, coach Ernesto Valverde certainly has a lot to think about.
Time will tell if he is able to find the solutions and get their season back on track, but speculation is linking them with reinforcements next year already.
As noted by Calciomercato, it’s claimed that Barcelona official Eric Abidal was reportedly on a scouting mission at the weekend to take a closer look at Ruiz, while it’s suggested that Koulibaly is seen as an ideal heir to Gerard Pique in the heart of the defence.
Interestingly though, it’s added that a €45m bid from Real Madrid for Ruiz was rejected by Napoli this past summer, while his teammate is said to have a €150m release clause which will be in effect next summer, as per Calciomercato.
With that in mind, it could take over €195m to prise the pair away from Naples, and so it remains to be seen if the Catalan giants have the financial power to make that happen next year.
The pair would certainly be excellent additions given the solidity, technical quality and class that they bring to the table, and it could even be argued that they’re ideally suited to fit into the Barcelona style of play.
Nevertheless, with Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Jean-Clair Todibo for the defence and Arthur, Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and others for the midfield, Barcelona undoubtedly have multiple options in those two departments already and so surely they’d have to make space in the squad first before launching such big-money raids on Napoli.