Transfer News: Liverpool lead Manchester City in race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly

Liverpool are reportedly leading Manchester City in the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in the summer transfer window.

According to a report by Italian outlet Tutto Mercato Web, Liverpool have moved ahead of rivals Manchester City in pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly. Napoli are open to selling the 29-year-old Senegalese defender in the summer transfer window, but the suitors might have to pay around €100 million to sign him.

For the past half-a-decade, Koulibaly has been regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, having become a mainstay at the back for Napoli and a force to be reckoned with in Serie A. Since joining the Partenopei in 2014, the player has gone on to amass 237 appearances, chipping in with 10 goals and 5 assists as well.

However, as the summer transfer window approaches, Koulibaly has been linked with a move away from San Paolo. While the perennial links with Manchester United remain, the more concrete and reliable reports suggest that Liverpool and Manchester City are keen on signing him.

Liverpool are on top of the world after ending their 30-year-wait for a league title. Now, having won almost every trophy under Jurgen Klopp, the Reds look set to take the next step in their evolution and stamp their authority in England and Europe. To that end, bolstering the heart of the defence has emerged as a priority, with Koulibaly being identified as a target.

A summer move on the horizon? (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
A summer move on the horizon? (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Currently, Klopp has the likes of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren as options to partner Virgil van Dijk. While Gomez looks like the long-term solution, the Liverpool boss still needs one more option, especially with Lovren rumoured to be on the exit trail. Koulibaly is, therefore, a viable target. As for Manchester City, signing a centre-back is more of an urgent need.

Eric Garcia seems to be one for the future, but needs to be groomed. That leaves Pep Guardiola with Aymeric Laporte as his only reliable option at the heart of the Manchester City defence, with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi failing to make a mark; so much so, that Fernandinho has been used as a centre-back this season.

As a result, Manchester City have been scouring the market for a centre-back, with the likes of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias being targeted. Koulibaly, though, would be more of an immediate solution. However, if the report is anything to go by, Liverpool seem to be ahead of their rivals in the race to sign the 29-year-old.

Tutto Mercato Web also claim that Napoli are open to selling Koulibaly, but only if a suitor shells out €100 million. Having said that, the Italian giants also recognise that their valuation might have to be reduced due to the effects of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, there have also been suggestions that Liverpool could use Lovren as a makeweight to reduce Napoli’s asking price.

However, Sky Sports have claimed that the Reds are not even interested in signing Koulibaly. Which report is true remains to be seen, but if Tutto Mercato Web are to be believed, Liverpool are the favourites to sign the 29-year-old and are pushing for his signature and it remains to be seen if the newly-crowned Premier League champions do beat Manchester City to his signature.

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