Napoli have gone against the odds to pose a threat to both Milan giants. The Partenopei sit sandwiched between the duo as the final matches of the Serie A season beckons upon us.
However, apart from the title race, Luciano Spalletti and the club management are also concerned about the transfer market. One of the main reasons why is one of their most valuable players, Kalidou Koulibaly.
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The Senegal defender enters the final year of his contract once the current campaign ends, and Napoli have a definitive choice to make, amid interest for the center-back from Barcelona. The Italians want to avoid losing one of their most valuable players on a free transfer. However, there have been no contract renewal advances from either party to continue the agreement, according to Calciomercato.
The Blaugrana see Koulibaly as a potential successor to aging captain Gerard Pique and Xavi Hernandez is also reportedly ‘heavily’ interested in the AFCON winner’s services. The player’s agent Fali Ramadani has already met with delegates from the Spanish giants. While Barcelona could try getting him for free next season – if he doesn’t renew with Napoli – getting him at the moment could prove to be costly.
Napoli have made it clear that they will not accept anything less than €70m for their star defender.
Nevertheless, contrasting reports via Corriere dello Sport (via TuttoNapoli) indicate that Koulibaly isn’t going anywhere. He is touted to become the club’s next captain once Napoli icon Lorenzo Insigne makes a move to Toronto FC at the end of the season. President Aurelio De Laurentiis is reportedly preparing a bumper contract extension offer to propose to the Senegalese stopper in the coming weeks, so as to avoid another Insigne-like situation at the San Paolo.
Although both Napoli and Koulibaly have reached a crossroads in their eight-year relationship, one thing is for sure – the target at the moment for all involved parties is winning the Scudetto for the first time since the glory days of Argentine legend Diego Maradona in 1989/90.