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De Laurentiis gives Man City, Liverpool Koulibaly transfer hope

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Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has hinted that star centre back Kalidou Koulibaly is available for transfer this summer.

Koulibaly has built a reputation as one of the world’s top defenders during his time in Serie A. Inevitably, he has attracted plenty of interest from around Europe.

The likes of Real Madrid, PSG and Liverpool have been linked, although Manchester City are favourites to sign him.

Pep Guardiola is keen to strengthen his defence after seeing his team struggle at the back at times during 2019/20. Aymeric Laporte’s injury early in the campaign exposed their weaknesses, and contributed towards them missing out on a third straight Premier League title.

Koulibaly has been identified as a player who can bolster City’s defence. And it seems a potential switch to the Etihad has moved a step closer.

That is after De Laurentiis admitted that it may be time for Napoli and Koulibaly to part ways.

Speaking to Sky Italia, cited on Goal, he said: “Kalidou is a great person, I would be terribly sad to lose him. But there is a time for everything, even to move apart.

“But the €90m is not on the table and so it takes two to make a deal.”

The fee set for Koulibaly is unlikely to deter City, with the owners expected to back Guardiola in the transfer market. He will be given £150million to spend, although that figure could rise.

A £41million deal for Nathan Ake has been agreed, while Ferran Torres could join for £20.9million.

Reports also suggest that City are considering a move for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez.

The Uruguayan, also being targeted by Chelsea, has been a key member of Diego Simeone’s side for several years.

But he could depart Spain if an interested party matches his release clause. Read the full story here…

Kalidou Koulibaly

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