Tottenham will reportedly target Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, according to transfer expert and Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
The defence has been an issue for Jose Mourinho since he inherited the current squad from Mauricio Pochettino this season, as Spurs have conceded 40 goals in their 29 league games to date.
That gives them the joint-worst defensive record of the top 11 sides in the Premier League standings, and coupled with Jan Vertonghen looking set to move on as his contract will expire, it could leave Mourinho with a clear headache ahead of next season.
Di Marzio though believes that Koulibaly will be on their radar this summer, with the Sun reporting this week that the commanding and classy centre-half could be valued at just under £70m by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis amid the coronavirus crisis.
“Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly could be one of their most important targets. There is a very good feeling between his agents and the Tottenham chairman,” Di Marzio told Sky Sports. “I think Koulibaly will leave Napoli this summer. Only last summer, Napoli signed Kostas Manolas who is a similar player to Koulibaly and then they got another defender in, Amir Rrahmani from Verona.
“Napoli have been thinking to the future without Koulibaly. A couple of years ago, they would not have been open to the idea of Koulibaly leaving. But the last year was not his best for Napoli, so I think this could be the right moment for him to leave.
“As well as Tottenham, Carlo Ancelotti wants him at Everton. His agents have very strong contacts within the Premier League clubs. So, I think the percentage that Koulibaly could arrive in the Premier League is very high.”
The 28-year-old has firmly established himself as one of the top defenders in Europe after offering a solid presence at the back for Napoli for a number of seasons, and he would undoubtedly help shore things up for Spurs.
Time will tell what kind of backing Mourinho gets in the transfer market though as while he will hope to stamp his mark on the squad this summer, spending could be limited given the financial hit that clubs have taken during the pandemic.
Given how they also crashed out of the FA Cup and Champions League prior to the suspension of the campaign and with a gap to bridge to qualify for Europe’s premier competition next year, it could be difficult to prise Koulibaly away from Napoli even if there is a ‘good feeling’ between his agent and chairman Daniel Levy.