FC Barcelona have joined the race to sign Napoli’s defensive stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly. The Italian club has recently revealed the price-tag for their star defender, as Chelsea were keen on his services this January. However, according to reports from Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are eager to hijack the deal for the Senegalese defender.
Kalidou Koulibaly has been a key figure for Napoli in the past few years and has been one of the main reason of their success as well. In fact, the 26-year-old is regarded as one of the best defenders in Serie A. Previously rumours suggested that Koulibaly could cost roughly around €60-€70m.
But should Barcelona really pursue this highly rated centre-back from Napoli?
New head coach Ernesto Valverde has looked very lucid in his approach to strengthen the Barcelona squad and to plug the gaps in his squadron. The Spanish mastermind has brought Ousmane Dembele and Paulinho in the summer, without having any hesitation and as it seems, the 53-year-old is keen on bringing in Kalidou Koulibaly to the Spanish shores.
Looking at the current Barcelona squad, the Catalans do, in fact, need the services of a new centre back. Gerard Pique has been the leader of the Barca’s defensive pack for quite some time now, but he is slowly approaching the final phase of the career, while Javier Mascherano’s place in the team has been questioned by many.
Former Arsenal man Thomas Vermaelen has also failed to prove himself at the Nou Camp, largely being infested with a series of injuries during his time at the Catalan outfit. Therefore, Kalidou Koulibaly’s arrival could make a world of sense for the Catalans.
Over the years, the Senegalese International has managed to transform himself from being an abrasive centre back to a more technical defender, especially under the tutelage of current Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri. The 26-year-old has evolved as a passing master for Napoli in the backline. Not only he can help the build-up phase with his excellent range of passing, but with his incredible defensive mind, it can be very hard for the opposition to get past the bulky defender.
In addition, he can easily get used to the new condition at Barcelona thanks to his passing ability and build-up qualities, which are suitable to Barcelona’s style of play.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s arrival at the club will no doubt strengthen Barcelona’s defensive department, and that too by a significant margin. Although Barcelona are not really termed as favourites to land on Koulibaly, it will be enthralling to see how this transfer saga pans out this January.
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