Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been tied away from the Serie A club for some time.
A number of teams across Europe are said to be interested in the 28-year-old, with the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea all connected.
There appears to have been discussions with many clubs, and we may be set for a new record transfer fee for a defender, with Virgil van Dijk’s previous record falling in the summer when Ole Gunnar Soslkjaer took Harry Maguire to Old Trafford.
After Jose Mourinho’s arrival in north London, Spurs was also considered a possible destination for the central defender.
So what’s the latest in a potential move for international Senegal?
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The Spurs plan a move of £ 90 million
Reports state that Jose Mourinho is observing a new defender in order to strengthen his defense at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, with Koulibaly emerging as one of the best targets.
According to El Desmarque, Tottenham is in talks with Napoli on the defender, with a commission of around € 100 million suggested.
The report also claims that Real Madrid has shown interest in the defender, but Zinedine Zidane has a strict budget to stick to during the window, giving Tottenham a chance to make his move.
Set of price tags
The defender is said to have asked to leave Napoli in January, with Tottenham, Manchester City and Everton among clubs linked to the 28-year-old.
According to the Italian journalist Fabio Santini, quoted by Area Napoli, the Italian club has set a price for the defender.
“Koulibaly asked to leave,” he said.
“Aurelio De Laurentiis [Napoli president] set the price: it is based on one hundred e twenty million euros. The Senegalese defender is followed mainly in England. He likes, among others, Tottenham and Manchester City. “
This means that if a club wishes to bring Koulibaly to the window, he may be forced to pay a high price for the defender.
Man United enters the race
Transfer expert Ian McGarry said that Manchester United brought Napoli closer to the defender, joining the likes of Everton and Tottenham in their pursuit.
Speaking on the Transfer Window podcast, McGarry states that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has doubts about the reliability of the summer that Harry Maguire signs in the center of Manchester United’s defense.
“It is my information that Koulibaly informed Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis of his desire to leave the club in January,” he said.
“This was an ongoing situation, but with the departure of Ancelotti to whom he was very close, the problem has been solved and Koulibaly is now trying to move away from Serie A.
“And this started an option process led by Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, which sees the weak points in the Everton back line.
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“But probably equally interesting, especially given their current form on the back, is Manchester United which has entered into a contract with Napoli regarding Koulibaly and the price requested by Napoli.
“This tells us two things. One, Manchester United has finally decided that Lindelof and Maguire are not as reliable as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would prefer.
“I think we saw him in the Watford game over the weekend when Maguire was defeated again in an aerial challenge that led to the first goal.
“It is also interesting that Koulibaly’s valuation exceeds 65 million euros (£ 55 million), so it would be a substantial investment for both clubs in the northwest to make that offer and satisfy De Laurentiis, which we know doesn’t sell well. market. “
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Barcelona shows interest
According to Le10 Sport, Barcelona are now showing interest in the defender and are considering making an offer to the Italian team.
With speculation about Xavi that he could take over from Ernesto Valverde, the Catalan club is eager to add to his defensive options.
However, the report also states that Barca may have to consider releasing funds by selling players to make a move for Koulibaly.
Affirmations about the Man United affair
Complaints in Italy suggest that Manchester United is close to signing an agreement for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
Italian journalist Fabio Santini (via Sport Testimone) said that an agreement has already been signed between the two clubs, but a transfer will not take place until the summer.
“Napoli will sell Kalidou Koulibaly to Manchester United for approximately € 70 million – € 75 million (£ 60 million – £ 64.2 million),” he said. “It all seems done.
“Of course, such an agreement will only be closed in June and certainly not in January in the winter transfer window.”