Paris Saint-Germain are understood to have ended their pursuit of Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, leaving the door open to suitors from the Premier League to get a deal over the line.
The Senegal international is widely expected to leave Napoli this summer, and given his status as one of the world’s finest defenders, he has attracted plenty of interest from some of the continent’s biggest clubs.
PSG have long been viewed as one of the favourites to land Koulibaly as they look for a replacement for the ageing Thiago Silva, but Le Parisien state that the French side have pulled out of the race as they do not want to meet Napoli’s €70m asking price.
The report states that Koulibaly is now likely to continue his career in England, where Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle United are all reported to be pursuing him.
The main issue with any move for Koulibaly is the cost of such a deal. Le Parisien’s estimate of €70m (around £62m) is noticeably lower than the £80m figure which has been circulating for a while now, but either figure would likely be enough to cause a team to hesitate in the current landscape.
Given he will be 29 years old by the time next season starts, Koulibaly’s market value will likely begin to drop from this point forwards, and when you consider the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak, throwing that much money at the centre-back is not as easy at it would have been last summer.
To add to all the uncertainty, nobody seems to actually know who’s leading the race for his signature. A report from Italy had Newcastle in the lead, even though their big-money takeover is not yet complete, but Gazzetta dello Sport have named Liverpool has the leader.
Having said that, you’ve then got The Athletic’s James Pearce saying that Liverpool aren’t interested in Koulibaly whatsoever, so it’s all a bit up in the air right now.
One thing which seems certain is that PSG won’t be joining the Koulibaly party this summer, so a switch to the Premier League does appear to be on the cards – although which team the defender will join remains to be seen.
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