Liverpool target Kalidou Koulibaly could end up joining Manchester City


Manchester City are now being tipped as favourite to sign Kalidou Koulibaly after  a recent Liverpool bid was turned down

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The Senegal international was the subject of a  £54million bid from the Reds few days ago with Serie A club Napoli rejecting the offer.

Koulibaly is reportedly thirsty for a new challenge outside Italy next season but the £90m asking price wanted by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis could mean a huge block in the player's yearning.

Outside the 'unrealistic' transfer fee on demand, transfer expert Duncan Castle believes Liverpool could also miss out on the 29-year-old, as their priority is to sign a left-footed centre-back who can play at left-back, therefore providing cover for Andy Robertson.

Castles says Koulibaly thinks Manchester City's need for a defender is greater than Liverpool's and there's a strong chance he could join the Etihad outfit this summer.

"Napoli's coach Gennaro Gattuso has been told Koulibaly will definitely be sold this summer and a replacement centre-back is coming in," he said on the Transfer Window Podcast.

"Koulibaly himself is open to that, he's ready for a change of environment and keen to move to the Premier League.

"There's been talk of Liverpool as the club that would take him from Napoli to add him alongside Virgil van Dijk into what could be an extremely impressive defence.

"[But] Koulibaly is a right-footed player and would be extremely expensive.

"Napoli's asking price pre-Covid-19 was €100m (£90m), they would be expected to come down but I don't see the fee coming significantly down into the €60m (£54m) mark.

"The noises from Napoli is perhaps €80m (£72.5m) would do it at present.

"Obviously all of these things are open to negotiation but it's going to be a significant salary, it's going to be significant wages.

"The word from people close to Koulibaly is he thinks there's a strong chance he will end up at Manchester City.

"The noises and efforts that City have made so far and obviously their greater need for a top centre-back - as we've talked about many times the only centre-back option that Guardiola trusts at present is Aymeric Laporte, they've spent this whole season short of quality at centre-back - puts them in Koulibaly's mind as his more likely destination this summer."

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