In Monday’s print edition, Corriere dello Sport has stated that Manchester City are set to hold decisive talks with the agent of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. It has been revealed that Koulibaly’s agent Fali Ramadani has spent the last few days ‘in Manchester’ trying to ‘find the real intentions of Manchester City for the Senegalese’ this summer. Napoli are reluctant to ‘drop below €70m’ in terms of their asking price for their prized asset which could be a stumbling block for Pep Guardiola’s side to overcome in this off-season (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).
Koulibaly’s Decent Run Of Form In The Serie A Last Season
Koulibaly can be considered amongst the best centre-backs in Europe based on his recent contributions at the heart of Gennaro Gattuso’s defence. He had to endure an injury-plagued campaign but did well to overcome them and find a run of consistency for the Naples-based outfit over the past 12 months.
The Senegalese international participated in 34 games for the Italian giants in the previous term, picking up nine yellow cards and one red card in the process. His disciplinary record is poor, but it sheds light on how aggressive and dominant he can be in the defensive end of the field.
The ex-Genk talent ended up averaging 2.0 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 2.4 clearances and 4.6 long balls per game in the 2019-20 Serie A campaign. He was also excellent with his ball-distribution after making 91.4% of his attempted passes in the top tier of Italian football (stats via whoscored).
What Will The France-born Sensation Bring To The Table?
Koulibaly can be an unstoppable force in defence as he can command his penalty area by making himself big and pulling off some important clearances for his team. Standing at 1.87m, the Senegalese defensive ace can dominate the opposition attackers in the air and has proven himself to be a decent interceptor of the ball inside his half.
Why Man City Need To Snap Koulibaly Up This Summer
A centre-back of Koulibaly’s quality could propel Man City to new heights as he will improve the quality of Pep Guardiola’s first-team considerably in the coming seasons. He is good enough to be a guaranteed starter at the Etihad Stadium in the upcoming campaign.
The 33-capped Senegalese international could potentially make an instant impact at Manchester, so it is only logical for Man City to break the bank in pursuit of his services during this summer transfer period. At 29, Koulibaly won’t have any resale value, but his addition will undoubtedly make the Mancunian giants the favourites to win the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League next season.
Guardiola has currently got Nathan Ake, Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte vying for a first-team place at the north-west of England. With all things considered, Koulibaly will be an upgrade over any of them if he can bring his high standards from Italian football to England.