Liverpool are back in for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports in Italy. They may be too late to sign him, however.
This comes from Calciomercato in Italy. They say that Liverpool are back in for Kalidou Koulibaly in wake of the injury to Virgil van Dijk.
None of that came to anything, of course. But now it appears that the Reds are going back for Koulibaly – although, they could be too late.
Arena Napoli claims that the Italians won’t give the player up in January as their start to the campaign has been so good. Napoli feel they can compete this year and Koulibly is too valuable an asset to give up right now.
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If Liverpool had tried in the previous window, they may have got him. But Van Dijk wasn’t injured then, of course.
What RTK has to say
We really can’t see this happening. For one, we agree that it doesn’t make much sense for Napoli to sell Koulibaly in January.
But it also doesn’t add up from a Liverpool perspective. Koulibaly is now 29 – the same age as both Van Dijk and Joel Matip. Why would the club want a third centre-half at that age? They’d have to try and replace all three within a few years.
Signing someone younger – effectively the long-term replacement for Matip and Van Dijk – makes far more sense. That way, there is a long-term advantage to signing someone now and it’s not just a deal to get Liverpool through the season.
Dayot Upamecano, for instance, is reportedly available for a release clause at the end of the season. Negotiating with RB Leipzig for him – a 21-year-old with enormous potential – just fits the bill far better than Koulibaly.
Il Mattino had the Napoli man’s price at £90m in the summer, too. If Arena Napoli are right and the club are less inclined to sell now, that price will not have moved. It could even have risen.
SportBild says Upamecano’s release clause if around £40m. Yet again, it makes any move for Koulibaly look like a poor one.