Liverpool 'pushing hard' for £64m Kalidou Koulibaly transfer but star wants Man City move



Posted Thursday, September 24, 2020 by Express.co.uk

Liverpool are said to be rivalling Manchester City for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.

Liverpool are pushing hard to try and beat Manchester City to the signature of Kalidou Koulibaly but the Napoli defender is set on joining the Citizens, according to reports. Koulibaly has been tipped to move to the Premier League all summer with Manchester United another club linked.

The 29-year-old has established himself as one of the best centre-halves in world football during his time in Naples.

Koulibaly has been with Napoli since 2014 and racked up nearly 250 appearances in that time, helping his club finish second in Serie A on three occasions and also win the Coppa Italia last season.

And his performances over the past few years in particular have seen top clubs across Europe earmark Koulibaly as a target.

Pep Guardiola's City are one such club, with the Catalan coach keen on the idea of putting another elite-level defender alongside Aymeric Laporte.

The failure to replace club legend and former captain Vincent Kompany last summer was seen as a crucial mistake in the title race, with Liverpool stealing City's crown.

Liverpool 'pushing hard' for £64m Kalidou Koulibaly transfer but star wants Man City move
Liverpool 'pushing hard' for £64m Kalidou Koulibaly transfer but star wants Man City move (Image: GETTY)

Liverpool 'pushing hard' for £64m Kalidou Koulibaly transfer but star wants Man City move
Liverpool 'pushing hard' for £64m Kalidou Koulibaly transfer but star wants Man City move (Image: GETTY)

But Guardiola wants to pair Koulibaly and Laporte in a high-class partnership to rectify that mistake while City also seek a maiden Champions League triumph.

According to Le Parisien though, via Get French Football News, their Premier League rivals Liverpool are looking to thwart their attempts of signing the dominant defender.

It has been claimed recently Paris Saint-Germain are at the front of the race alongside City for Koulibaly but the French outlet say otherwise.

Le Parisien insist PSG are not in the running as Napoli want between £64million (€70m) and £73m (€80m) for.

Instead, they say Koulibaly wants to join City and has agreed the contract that he would sign if he were to move to the Etihad.

It is suggested Liverpool are making a concerted effort to convince him to move to Anfield instead and that they are utilising the player's connections to Sadio Mane.

Mane and Koulibaly are team-mates at international level and the Reds are said to be using the winger to persuade Koulibaly to head to Merseyside over Manchester.

Although Liverpool have Virgil van Dijk at the back, Joe Gomez's post-restart form has been questioned while Joel Matip has suffered from constant niggles in his four years at the club.

Defensive midfieldre Fabinho had to step into the centre of defence for Liverpool's 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, although the Brazilian went on to produce an excellent performance.

Asked about interest in Koulibaly last month, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said: "You should ask Manchester United, City or PSG this question. In other words, those who can afford to pay certain amounts."

And speaking on his Here We Go podcast recently, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano explained: "So in this moment, I’m told that Manchester City, for a centre-back, are not going to spend 120m euros [on Jose Gimenez from Atletico Madrid].

"They are going to try for 80m euros [or] 75m euros – that’s the idea of Manchester City, but not for Koulibaly.

"They are not going to spend like 80m euros for Koulibaly; they are convinced the value of Koulibaly is around 65m euros. Napoli want 75m euros to sell Koulibaly.”

City have only signed two senior players so far this summer in Ferran Torres and left-footed centre-back Nathan Ake at a cost of around £60m.

While Liverpool have spent around £70m on Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota.

Financial constraints for the Premier League champions mean they will need to sell players before October 5 to offset the cost of their spending, having agreed deals which will see them pay only £5m and £4m respectively of the £25m and £45m fees agreed for Thiago and Jota  for the first 12 months of their contracts.

And given Napoli president De Laurentiis' tough-negotiating tactics and City's superior financial firepower, it seems Guardiola and co are in the driving seat if Liverpool really are looking to rival them for Koulibaly.



Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.