Serie A giants Napoli are understood to be willing to offload in-demand centre back Kalidou Koulibaly should their move for Lille forward Victor Osimhen be finalised.
Gli Azzurri are currently locked in negotiations with the Ligue 1 outfit over the prospective transfer of forward Osimhen, with a move for the highly-rated youngster potentially costing the Italian outfit as much as £70m.
The two clubs are said to be around £20m apart in their valuation of the Nigerian, but the Telegraph note that if an agreement can be reached, Napoli will be prepared to offload Koulibaly in an attempt to balance the books.
It’s claimed that club president Aurelio De Laurentiis wants to recuperate all of the money they will potentially spend on Osimhen, indicating that they may eventually meet Lille’s valuation of £70m. Certainly, Koulibaly is worth that in a market bereft of elite level central defenders.
A willingness to sell will undoubtedly alert a number of Premier League sides, with Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs all previously linked with the Senegal international.
Manchester City are known to be in the market for a centre back this summer, with Koulibaly of interest to the dethroned champions. Manager Pep Guardiola has struggled to fill the void left by long-term captain Vincent Kompany, following his departure at the end of the 2018/19 season.
The Spanish tactician has tried a number of players alongside Aymeric Laporte at the heart of the City defence including John Stones, Fernandinho, Nicolás Otamendi and more recently Eric Garcia – who is rumoured to be being watched by old employers Barcelona – though none have enjoyed a great degree of success.
Now it seems Guardiola is keen to delve into the transfer market and Koulibaly could be just what City need as they look to bridge the gap to Liverpool.
Another interested party could be Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. While the Blues’ marquee forward signings have been well documented, the club’s defensive frailties have been clear for all to see in Lampard’s maiden season at the club.
Only Burnley have conceded more than Chelsea in the top half of the Premier League this season, and if Lampard is serious about mounting a title challenge next campaign, he’ll know his side must tighten up at the back.