Newcastle source says that Kalidou Koulibaly is top of Magpies transfer list

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The times are clearly changing at St. James’ Park, with cash rich Newcastle United ready to make a splash in the January transfer window.

MARCA place the Magpies as the richest Premier League club now that the takeover by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund has concluded successfully.

To that end, Newcastle will theoretically have their pick of players, assuming that those they target are willing to make a new life for themselves on Tyneside.

One of those players could be Napoli centre-back, Kalidou Koulibaly, after a club source told Football Insider that he was a top target.

MORE: Liverpool’s quadruple selection dilemma

The 29-year-old has long been regarded as one of the best central defenders in Europe, albeit the fee that Napoli were demanding for him (£89m according to the Daily Mail) was prohibitive.

Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli

By the end of the current campaign, he will only have a year left on his contract, so if the Italian giants want to get anything like a reasonable fee for him, a deal needs to be done in January.

It’s abundantly clear why the Magpies would be courting the player too.

As hard as nails in defence, great in one-on-ones and in the air, he is a competitor supreme. Insofar as is possible, he’s a guarantee of quality, and with Newcastle not having kept a clean sheet this season, their need is an obvious one.

Perhaps the main stumbling block for the club is going to be enticing players to the north east. Swapping Naples for Newcastle is a big ask, though money talks in today’s game and therefore players might just look at the bigger picture, with financial security as a consideration.

With Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez both 32, neither centre-back could consider themselves safe with regards to selection should Koulibaly join the revolution, but that’s not likely to be the only change in personnel over the next couple of transfer windows.

More Stories Ciaran Clark Federico Fernandez Kalidou Koulibaly Steve Bruce