Liverpool have reportedly made an informal offer worth €40 million to sign Kalidou Koulibaly, who is also a target for Manchester United.
According to Ian McGarry on the Transfer Window Podcast, as quoted by Daily Express, Liverpool have made their opening move in pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly. The Premier League champions have tabled an informal offer, worth around €40 million, for the Senegalese defender, who is also a target for rivals Manchester United.
Koulibaly joined Napoli from KRC Genk in the summer of 2014 and has since gone on to establish himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world. Over the last seven years or so, he has been a key figure for the Partenopei, having been a mainstay in their defence, amassing 277 appearances while also chipping in with 11 goals and 5 assists.
His progress has meant that Koulibaly has been constantly linked with the who’s who of European football in recent years, none more so than Manchester United in just about every window over the last couple of years. Heading into this coming summer’s window, though, it is Liverpool who seem to have taken the first step in order to land the 29-year-old.
Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast (h/t Daily Express), Ian McGarry said, “They have had a long-standing interest in the Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, which we have reported in detail over the last year. It is our understanding that an informal offer to begin with of €40 million plus add-ons has been made for the player, who’s certainly available.”
“Koulibaly has had interest from Manchester City and Manchester United but Liverpool look to be leading the race now in a reduced-price market for a player, okay he’s 29, but that does also give him the advantage of the experience and he will be able to hit the ground running with regards to coming into a new club.”
Liverpool’s interest in Koulibaly makes sense, considering Ozan Kabak is not a certainty to join the Reds on a permanent deal while Ben Davies has struggled with fitness issues since arriving at Anfield. With Joel Matip’s own frustrations with injuries becoming well-documented, Liverpool could be back to square one come summer, thereby necessitating the need to sign a centre-back.
To that end, a Bosman move for Aissa Mandi is reportedly being explored, but Koulibaly is the kind of defender who could theoretically transform the defensive unit when pairing up with Virgil van Dijk, as Liverpool look to regain their falling stature within the Premier League. As for Manchester United, Koulibaly could be a short-term partner for Harry Maguire, much like with van Dijk at Liverpool.
Indeed, with Victor Lindelof struggling with a niggling back issue this season, coupled with Eric Bailly’s own tryst with injuries, it is not hard to see why Manchester United would be in the market for a centre-back, with Koulibaly a viable target for the Red Devils.
Manchester United, though, will need to make their move quickly, considering Liverpool have already made an informal bid worth €40 million. It now remains to be seen how this transfer saga develops, with Koulibaly looking destined to leave Napoli this coming summer.