Man Utd, Liverpool and Man City are just a few of the clubs who have been linked with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, but they now know how much it will cost to sign him.
The 29-year-old has firmly established himself as one of the top centre-halves in Europe during his time with the Partenopei and they have enjoyed some successful times together.
However, as they prepare for their potential absence from the Champions League next season, it has led to ongoing speculation over Koulibaly’s future in Naples and whether or not he’ll move on this summer.
As reported by the Metro, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has now set his asking price at £81m, and given his age, the economic impact of the pandemic and other key factors, it’s questionable as to whether clubs are going to be willing to splash out that kind of money for the Senegal international ahead of next season.
A potential partnership with Virgil van Dijk in the Liverpool backline would be a daunting challenge for their rivals to face and one that could help the Merseyside giants continue to win major trophies in the coming years.
Having boasted the best defensive record in the Premier League this past season though on their way to the title, it’s debatable as to whether spending big on another defender is necessarily a priority for them.
In contrast, Man City looked more vulnerable at the back after losing Vincent Kompany last summer while Aymeric Laporte had his injury troubles. Nevertheless, with Nathan Ake reportedly on his way to the Etihad in a £40m deal, as per BBC Sport, it doesn’t appear as though City will be in the market for Koulibaly too.
As for Man Utd, they had the third best defence in the top flight, and so again, at £81m, it raises doubts over whether or not any of the named clubs will be keen on a swoop.
Time will tell if there is interest from elsewhere in England or Europe, but Koulibaly may well find himself still at Napoli ahead of next season given De Laurentiis’ demands.