Kalidou Koulibaly’s £43 million price-tag means he could be stuck at Napoli with Premier League giants Liverpool opting to bring Ibrahima Konate to Anfield instead, as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport.
Before you all jump at the chance to point out that Koulibaly’s price-tag is broadly the same as the one RB Leipzig slapped on Konate’s head, there is a very obvious reason why Jurgen Klopp’s side chose the latter over the former.
Koulibaly, of course, is the better of the two central defenders. In fact, there is an argument to be made that there is only one finer defender in world football and he is already plying his trade on Merseyside.
No, we don’t mean Michael Keane.
Why are Liverpool not signing Kalidou Koulibaly?
But, while Koulibaly will turn 30 later this month, Konate is eight years his junior with his best years ahead of him.
And Liverpool are not a club who make a habit of signing established, ready-made world-class footballers, with Thiago Alcantara very much the exception rather than the rule.
Gazzetta dello Sport claim that Liverpool considered Koulibaly before deciding that, for a fee in the region of £40 million, the up-and-coming Konate represented better value for money.
In fact, it seems that Koulibaly is destined to stay in Southern Italy now, potentially for the remainder of his top-level career. And that is despite the fact that the Senegal international’s price-tag has fallen considerably during recent transfer windows.
Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis said in the summer of 2020 that Koulibaly would not be going anywhere for a penny less than £90 million.
“Koulibaly is the best centre-back in the world – and he has more room for improvement,” then-Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti said back in 2019.
“He is worth £130 million.”
Two years on, you can take almost £100 million off that figure.
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