According to Italian outlet La Repubblica, Manchester City are currently in a battle with three clubs including bitter rivals Manchester United for Napoli stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly – but the Sky Blues will have to pay €85 million for his signature.
As per this report, Premier League clubs are currently ‘leading the race’ for Koulibaly, with Ligue 1 champions Paris-Saint Germain also in the hunt but lingering behind the two Manchester clubs.
Links to the Senegalese defender could come as a nice surprise to some Sky Blues supporters, especially considering our leaky back line and consistent injuries to star defensive asset Aymeric Laporte.
According to WhoScored, Koulibaly has averaged more tackles this season than any City player – all the while being dribbled past less than Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy.
These numbers, combined with his glowing reputation in Serie A, could be a real incentive for Pep Guardiola to land the centre-back given his short options.
Laporte’s injury troubles, combined with Otamendi and John Stones’ worrying performances, have forced the Spaniard to insert Fernandinho in at centre-half and provide some much-needed solidarity.
Should City sign Koulibaly for £74 million?
Former Senegal international Salif Diao told BBC Sport that his compatriot isn’t ‘scared to get stuck in’ whilst also praising the defender with strength and stating he can read the game well.
Serie A writer Chloe Beresford also told the BBC that football manager Carlo Ancelotti likened the African to Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta.
Indeed, with plaudits like these, it’s hard not to take notice of the rumours – but taking into account his age (28), it is debatable whether a £74 million bid would be viable in the long run.