Top European clubs Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all planning a move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly this summer – but have been told it will take a world record fee to sign him.
Senegal international Koulibaly has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best centre-backs in the past few years with a string of impressive performances in Serie A, The Champions League and in international matches.
Manchester United have been linked with the 27-year-old in the past – although they have been linked to most other defenders in Europe – but Koulibaly would be seen as an upgrade on the current defensive options at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile Real Madrid are planning a major squad revamp this summer and signing Koulibaly would be a statement of intent.
Barcelona have also been linked and will want to make signings to keep up their advantage over Madrid.
Chelsea have also been linked to the defender but they have been placed under a transfer ban for the next two transfer windows for transfer irregularities, which would seem to rule them out. However, the club are appealing that ruling.
However, any club that wants to sign Koulibaly will have to break the world record for a defender. Napoli president Auerelio de Laurentiis wants £130 million for him, according to the Gazetta dello Sport.
That would smash the current record £75 million that Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk.
De Laurentiis may get his wish as all three clubs could meet that sort of fee.