Liverpool have reportedly contacted Napoli over a summer move for Kalidou Koulibaly, who is also a summer target for Manchester United.
According to a report published by TuttoMercato, Liverpool have approached Kalidou Koulibaly as they prepare to sell Joel Matip this summer. Manchester United have also been rumoured to be interested in the Napoli defender.
Koulibaly is one of the best defenders in the world at the moment, and has been so since his arrival at Napoli in 2014 from KRC Genk. The defender that cost the Italian club a mere €7.8 million is now rated at €56 million by according to Transfermarkt, and will cost no less than €70-80 million.
The Napoli ace was on the top of his game in the 2017/18 season, where he kept 19 clean sheets in 35 games in Serie A. However, his performances have seen a dip as of late, more specifically this season. He only managed 3 clean sheets in the 15 games he played in the league.
This is mostly down to the injuries the 28-year-old had faced this season. Koulibaly has been out for 11 games in all competitions in 2019/20. Before this campaign, the Senegalese had suffered only 2 injuries during his stint in Italy, knocking him out for a grand total of 5 games.
Liverpool, who boast of arguably the best backline in Europe, are now linked with a move to land one of the best defenders in the continent. Napoli are due to undergo a massive overhaul this summer and Koulibaly is one of the players that is bound to switch clubs.
Manager Gennaro Gattuso has found Konstantinos Manolas and Nikola Maksimovic to be a reliable pairing incase the Senegalese centre-back departs.
Moreover, Napoli currently stand 6th in the Serie A, 9 points adrift of a Champions League spot, and it’s hard imagining Gli Azzurri in UCL next season. Losing their place in Europe’s top competition will drain the club of precious income.
Liverpool already have the world’s best defender in Virgil van Dijk but his partner in the heart of defence has been been constantly shuffled with Matip and Joe Gomez assuming responsibility. Buying Koulibaly will be the final nail in the coffin in a near perfect defensive line.
Koulibaly’s high transfer cost and wages won’t be a topic of trouble for the Merseyside club, who did not spend a dime in the last summer window.
The 28-year-old has also been linked with Manchester United, who have been in the transfer market looking for a centre half of their own. The Red Devils have been linked with Koulibaly previously, on several occasions and this could finally be the time they secure his services.
United have already strengthened their defence by signing Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the summer of 2019. The former has already been promoted to the role of club captain by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer within 6 months of joining.
Victor Lindelof, Maguire’s partner-in-crime in Ole’s back four, has been an inconsistent performer this season, and has troubles dealing with aerial duels. Ideally, Koulibaly would assume his position in the defence.
Liverpool would be any world class player’s priority destination at the moment, with the club reaching new heights under Klopp. If the Reds are to somehow land him, they could end up with one of the most explosive defensive pairings ever.