La Liga heavyweights Barcelona have reportedly established contact with 30-year-old Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly over a summer move.
According to a report by Italian outlet Calciomercato, Kalidou Koulibaly is becoming a key target for Barcelona heading into the summer transfer window. The Catalan giants have already contacted the 30-year-old Napoli defender’s agent Fali Ramadani, although the two parties have only held informal talks thus far.
Kalidou Koulibaly has established himself as one of the best defenders in Serie A since joining Napoli from KRC Genk in July 2014. At the same time, the experienced centre-back has also tasted success at the international level, winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal earlier this year.
To date, the 30-year-old defensive powerhouse has turned out 310 times for Napoli, chipping in with 13 goals and seven assists in the process. But the Serie A giants are in a spot of bother over the player’s long-term future, as he has a little over a year left on his current deal. Such a situation has captured the attention of Barcelona.
Barcelona can only make cost-effective signings in the summer transfer window despite spending the big bucks to acquire Ferran Torres in January. With their financial issues still looming large, the Catalan giants have been scouring the market for such solutions, with many options emerging on their radar to that end.
One such solution would be signing Koulibaly for a cut-price fee in the summer transfer window. With Koulibaly’s contract set to run out in June 2023, there is a high chance that Barcelona could land the Senegalese international on the cheap ahead of the 2022/23 season.
But recent reports have claimed that Napoli could demand as much as €70 million for the 30-year-old, which, if true, could leave Barcelona with second thoughts about pursuing him. Nonetheless, the initial contacts between Barcelona and Koulibaly have taken place, with his agent Fali Ramadani recently meeting the Blaugrana.
The agenda of the meeting was primarily to discuss the future of Miralem Pjanic, currently on loan at Besiktas from Barcelona. But the two parties also informally talked about Koulibaly, meaning the interest from the Catalan giants is genuine. With Napoli in a difficult situation over the defensive powerhouse’s future, it remains to be seen if the two clubs can reach a consensus over a transfer fee.