Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Napoli president, says Manchester United and Manchester City are two of just three clubs that could afford to sign Kalidou Koulibaly this summer.
The Senegal centre-back is considered one of the finest central defenders in the world and he’s long been tipped for a move to Premier League, particularly given the scarcity of top level defenders available on the market.
Napoli have never blocked Koulibaly’s departure but they value you him at more than the world record £80m fee that United paid for Harry Maguire last summer.
Both United and City are keen on signing a centre-back this summer and De Laurentiis says the Premier League giants, along with Paris Saint-Germain, are the only clubs that could afford to sign Koulibaly.
‘You don’t have to ask me if Koulibaly will play for Napoli again. You have to ask Manchester United, Manchester City and PSG. They are the teams who can afford to pay certain amounts today,’ said the Napoli president.
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‘I see many buzzards on the transfers market – you know who they are, they seem to be waiting to swoop in, but we have impenetrable armour and they’ll not get what they want or at the prices they want.’
Pep Guardiola is certainly keen on signing Koulibaly, despite the £41m arrival of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth. The Dutchman is expected to provide back-up to Aymeric Laporte and affords Guardiola the luxury of palying a three-man defence. However, Koulibaly has been targeted as a centre-back partner for Laporte to play on the right hand side of the back four.