Napoli chief hints at Liverpool transfer interest in Kalidou Koulibaly’s team-mate

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Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis has spoken out on the Kalidou Koulibaly transfer situation, which sounds like bad news for Liverpool and other interested clubs.

He did, however, hint that the Reds have shown a past interest in fellow Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic in the past and suggested that they could revive that interest due to their injury crisis at the back.

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This is according to a report from talkSPORT, with presenter Jim White explaining his conversations with De Laurentiis about the Koulibaly Liverpool speculation.

Maksimovic might not be as big a name as Koulibaly, but Liverpool could certainly do worse in terms of signing cover for their current crop of injured centre-backs.

The Reds have endured a difficult season without star player Virgil van Dijk, while Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have also spent time out on the side-lines.

This has led to midfielder Fabinho filling in in defence, while even Jordan Henderson has had to drop back there as well, so it could be worth trying for a player like Maksimovic, even if De Laurentiis says the club have not yet been back in for him, even if his words suggest he has been anticipating it as a possibility.

“There isn’t a window in the last two, three or four that we don’t see big mentions of the Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly,” White said.

“This morning, I spoke to Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Napoli owner, and said what about your player, are there bids in for him?

“He laughed it off saying he’s not for sale. He’s absolutely not for sale unless one of the big clubs in England come up with £100million.

“He then says to me ‘I thought you were going to refer to our defender Nikola Maksimovic, the Serbian who is 29 years of age, and Liverpool’s previous interest in him’.

“So I said ‘are Liverpool still interested in your defender?’ He interrupted me to say of course with injury problems to Gomez and Van Dijk but no they haven’t heard from them of late.

“But it seems on this occasion Koulibaly is going nowhere. He stays and that was as recent as this morning. Anyone going in with anything other than £100million for Koulibaly can forget it.”

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