Manchester City reportedly had a huge offer rejected by Napoli for their star defender Kaldiou Koulibaly during the transfer window. According to rumors any bid for the Senegal international was turned down after the club’s return to the Champions League.
Manchester City has been on a hunt for a center-back in the transfer window, but they weren’t the only ones interested in Kalidou Koulibaly. With Arsenal, Liverpool, Juventus, and even Chelsea all interested in the tall center-back. However, with the central defense is the only area of Guardiola’s team that needed strengthening, it’s no surprise that West Brom’s Jonny Evans also made the cut.
In an article by La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Guardiola had Kaldiou Koulibaly at the top of his shortlist and valued the center-back at £60 million. However, any deal between the Citizens and Napoli came to a standstill, with the Serie A side determined to retain their top players.
A genuine leader at the base of the defense, Napoli’s giant man offered that and more to any team who managed to snag him. Koulibaly’s athleticism is the corner-stone of his talent and is nearly 6”5’ which means he towers above most strikers. The perfect combination of power and poise Koulibaly would have adapted to English football with ease and thus made any back line stronger.
The Citizens need Kalidou Koulibaly:
However, the Senegal international has been Napoli’s lighthouse during hard times and the club was hard pressed to sell him. As things stand, Vincent Kompany is the only center back in the City line-up, that Guardiola has put his faith. But the former Barcelona boss does have the likes of Eliaquim Mangala, Nicolas Otamendi, and John Stones, but neither of the three has been dependable for long periods of time.
Koulibaly, on the other hand, has earned a reputation as Serie A’s most accomplished defenders despite a rocky start to his Italian football career. The 26-year-old arrived at Napoli during in May 2014 but soon established his place in the lineup. He along side Raul Albiol made sure that the Napoli back-line was solid, letting in as few as 39 goals in the Serie A.
He’s won an average of 2.07 headed duels in 28 games during the 2016/17 season and made nearly 2.3 interceptions a game. It’s not just his defensive abilities but Kalidou Koulibaly boasts an average pass completion of just under 90%, which given Guardiola’s style of play, it’s no surprise why the City boss was after him.
With Napoli eager to fight Juventus or rather stop Juventus’ reign over the Serie A, Kalidou Koulibaly is an integral part of the team. The Italian side has already rejected one City offer but they also rejected Barcelona’s €100 million offer for Lorenzo Insigne. All this shows is that they are serious about keeping a team, that could definitely give the Old Lady a run for their money.
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