Lots of Manchester City fans have appeared split on social media over rumoured talks between the Etihad Stadium outfit and SSC Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly’s agent Fali Ramadani.
Italian publication Il Mattino, via Calcio Napoli, reported over the weekend that the agent representing Koulibaly met with club officials from Man City on Friday evening to discuss the potential of a move for the 39-cap Senegal centre-half.
Ramadani held a ‘long chat’ with the Sky Blues to sound out the likelihood of an agreement coming to fruition for his client, though it was decided that Manchester City’s opening offer of €60million (£54.6m) would be insufficient to appease Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis.
An ‘important offer’ is said to be of interest to the Serie A outfit, with De Laurentiis keen to accept no bid lower than between €80m-90m (£72.8m-£81.9m) or €70m (£63.7m) with additional clauses included.
Koulibaly would not present any obstacles to a move to the Etihad Stadium should Pep Guardiola’s side decide to increase their offer, while Ramadani’s ‘solid, concrete’ relationship with De Laurentiis could help smooth over any negotiations.
But Manchester City’s supporters are split over whether their club should offer as much as €70m for Koulibaly, with many noting that they do not see the fee as good value for a player who turned 29 last month.
Koulibaly made his 29th appearance of the season in all competitions on Sunday in a 2-1 victory over Udinese Calcio, in which he made one interception, tackle, blocked two shots, made a goal-line clearance and played 117 accurate passes (95%), per Sofa Score data, though only winning one of three ground duels and one of four aerial battles.
Here are some of the messages shared from City fans hoping their side do not bid excessively for Koulibaly…
— Congrats LFC* 💯 (@ManCityKD) July 19, 2020
Not worth that much . Train fresh legs instead https://t.co/d9RgJXAs0L
— Dummy (@try_hoax) July 19, 2020
That’s too much https://t.co/rj6GpW7OEG
— Gerald (@davidinho_21) July 19, 2020
While many City fans hope their side do not bid excessively for Koulibaly, there are plenty who argue that the 6 ft 1 defender would be a great signing and that the Sky Blues should pay whatever it takes to see him at the Etihad Stadium next season.
Give them the money let’s moveeeee https://t.co/xsIbWjauWQ
— Bebeto (@BebetoCity) July 19, 2020
PAY THEM TXIKI, WE HAVE £150m TO SPEND https://t.co/uasFqsM2vR
— Dazza 🥶 (STILL CENTURIONS) (@MCFC_Darren) July 19, 2020
How am I seeing blues moaning about the fee because of his age? Is he exactly what we need? Yep. Have we just got 50m+ for Sané? Yep. Did Liverpool bother about the VVD fee or did they just get what they needed? https://t.co/2Sz9cyb66X
— Andy (@AndyP1693) July 19, 2020
Among those in favour of Koulibaly’s signing, some City fans have also suggested their club should look to offload players in talks with Napoli, such as Nicolas Otamendi.
The Argentine has made 38 appearances under Guardiola this term but has often been slated for his performances, particularly against Wolverhampton Wanderers back in October as the Molineux outfit recorded their first top-flight win at Manchester City since 1979, leading to Otamendi being benched the next time out.
75 + Otamendi https://t.co/IDB0GglkNL
— CityFan98 (@De17Bruyne) July 19, 2020
Spend 70 for him then spend 100+ for martinez. Sell gabby, otamendi and stones. https://t.co/jnLbqa3uDZ
— Zach (@SheikhAgueroo) July 19, 2020