Manchester United and Liverpool have been told that Kalidou Koulibaly will not be sold this month unless they offer £100 million for him.
According to an exclusive report by talkSPORT, Manchester United, Liverpool and others have been informed of Kalidou Koulibaly’s price tag for a move in the January transfer window. Napoli are demanding £100 million in exchange of the 29-year-old defender, with Manchester City also interested in him.
Koulibaly is widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world, having been a pivotal figure for Napoli since arriving from KRC Genk in the summer of 2014. Now in his seventh season with the Partenopei, the 29-year-old has played a key role in establishing them as regulars in the UEFA Champions League.
Over the course of his stint with Napoli, Koulibaly has turned out 264 times, and has also chipped in with 10 goals and 5 assists. His exploits at the Serie A club has attracted the who’s who of European football over the years, with Manchester United and Liverpool currently believed to be in his pursuit.
Manchester United have been constantly linked with Koulibaly over the last couple of years, with the Red Devils still believed to be in the market for a centre-back. While they seem to be contenders for the Premier League title, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be worried by his side’s defensive figures, especially amid the fitness issues being faced by Victor Lindelof.
While Eric Bailly has stepped up superbly this season, as was the case against Burnley as well, his own battles with injuries mean Manchester United could surely do with a centre-back. Liverpool, on the other hand, have a more straightforward reason to scour the transfer market for a central defender.
First-choice centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are currently on the sidelines due to long-term knee injuries, while Joel Matip has also struggled with fitness woes in the past year or so. As a result, Jurgen Klopp has no recognised senior central defender at his disposal. To that end, it is clear why the Liverpool manager might want a centre-back, despite his defiant act in the media.
Liverpool have, therefore, been linked with a bevy of centre-backs, with Koulibaly on their radar since the summer transfer window. Back then, though, the Reds had balked at his astronomical price tag and so, Napoli’s latest valuation of the 29-year-old might put them out of the running, with the Serie A giants demanding £100 million to sell him this month.
It is unclear whether Manchester United, or indeed Liverpool, would be open to shelling out the required £100 million sum to land him. For now, though, it is clear that Napoli are not letting their prized possession leave cheaply and a January exit might be out of question.