Liverpool have made an ‘informal’ offer for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports. Jurgen Klopp has identified the Senegalese sensation as a “very suitable” partner for Virgil van Dijk next season.
This comes from journalist Ian McGarry, per the Transfer Window Podcast. He claims that Liverpool have opened negotiations with Napoli to sign the highly-rated 29-year-old.
The reigning Premier League champions have been heavily-linked with a move for Koulibaly for some time now, and it seems that Liverpool have stepped up their interest.
And McGarry claims that an initial offer has been made for the player, who has been listed on the transfer market by his club side, Napoli.
“They have tried to blood in young players as well as looking at players to recruit,” he said.
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“They have had a long-standing interest in the Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, which we have reported on the podcast in detail over the podcast in the past year.
“It is our understanding that an informal offer to begin with of €40m plus add ons has been made for the player who is certainly available, and Jurgen Klopp certainly looks at him as being a very suitable partner for Virgil van Dijk.”
What RTK has to say
Liverpool are currently in the latter stages of the most physically and mentally draining season in decades.
It’s one that has seen the bulk of Klopp’s squad decimated by injuries, dismantling his group of PL winners to its core.
By signing Koulibaly, that’s Klopp making a statement that he believes his current crop of players can go the distance again next season.
Koulibaly, who is an international teammate of Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, is amongst the best centre-backs in Europe, after all.
Well, that’s what Mane is saying at least, after he urged Liverpool to sign the “world class” defender last summer.
Bringing him to Anfield showcases that the club believe this contingent of players have one more year of success in them.
It also guarantees Liverpool have an assurance plan for next season in terms of avoiding similar defensive setbacks to what occurred this term. There is no assurance as to when Van Dijk, Joe Gomez or Joel Matip will return, after all.
Signing Koulibaly, then, immediately reduces the risk. Also, the prospect of a Van Dijk/Koulibaly pairing is mouth-watering, to say the least.
Both players are at their defensive peak, while both possess contrasting qualities. If Liverpool can secure him for a reduced fee, it immediately enhances our chances of challenging for the title next season.
So, it seems that any potential deal for Koulibaly hinges on price and the belief that this group of players still have plenty to offer.
By bringing in a player of Koulibaly’s quality, Liverpool can immediately regain that aura of invincibility. Just look at how Manchester City benefitted from bringing in Ruben Dias.
If the price is right, then a move for one of Europe’s best centre-backs is a no-brainer.