Kalidou Koulibaly is reportedly determined to leave Serie A club Napoli to join Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
According to a report by Italian outlet CalcioNapoli24, Kalidou Koulibaly is determined to seal a move to Barcelona in the summer transfer window. The veteran Senegalese defender has told Serie A giants Napoli that he wishes to leave ahead of the 2022/23 season to complete the switch to Camp Nou.
Kalidou Koulibaly has transformed into a powerhouse of a defender since joining Napoli from KRC Genk in July 2014. The 30-year-old, a mainstay at the back for the Partenopei, has established himself as one of the best defenders in Serie A, playing a pivotal role in instituting Napoli as a top-four mainstay again.
The Senegalese international has turned out 317 times for Napoli thus far while chipping in with 14 goals and seven assists. But Koulibaly faces an uncertain future at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium as his contract will expire next year, and he is keen on leaving the Serie A club to embark on a new adventure. And the player’s next destination could be Barcelona.
The interest from Barcelona stems from the advancing years of Gerard Pique, with the former Spanish international in the twilight of his glittering career. In addition, Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, and Oscar Mingueza face uncertain futures at Camp Nou, with Barcelona deeming the trio surplus to requirements.
Koulibaly is thus an attractive target for Barcelona, with his contract situation at Napoli making him a financially viable option for the Blaugrana. But there are a few stumbling blocks in front of Barcelona before they can hope to secure the services of the experienced centre-back.
Luciano Spalletti is reportedly eager to keep hold of Koulibaly, with the Napoli manager declaring him “non-transferrable”. In addition, Barcelona’s financial woes mean they might not be able to afford the Senegalese defender’s asking price, with recent reports claiming that the Serie A giants might demand around €70 million for him.
But Koulibaly intends to leave Napoli to move to Camp Nou in the summer transfer window. The 30-year-old has already informed the Serie A giants that he wishes to leave and can force a transfer to Barcelona. But the two clubs will still need to reach an agreement over the fee, which might put a spanner in the works for Koulibaly and Barcelona.