Pep highlights €150m Napoli man as ‘strongest “Italian” defender’ – Man United also show interest

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has identified Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly as a possible target to solidify his back line, according to Corriere dello Sport via Sport Witness

Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly warms up prior prior to the Italian Serie A football match between SPAL and Napoli at the Paolo Mazza stadium in Ferrara. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Senegalese centre-back has reportedly been highlighted by Guardiola as ‘the strongest “Italian” defender’, who is believed to have been given extra funds to improve a Manchester City backline which has conceded 13 goals in just 12 league games so far this season. 

Rivals Manchester United are also believed to have registered interest in the 28-year-old, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer already having had a £108 million bid rejected by Napoli chairman Aurelio de Laurentiis – a man who Manchester City have had dealings with in the past, most notably in the case of a failed attempt to lure Jorginho to the Etihad Stadium. 

Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli stands disappointed during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Genoa CFC at Stadio San Paolo. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

De Laurentiis appears to be holding out for a bid of €150 million – a fee Manchester United were unwilling to meet, having already spent £80 million on Leicester City stopper Harry Maguire last summer.

Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly (R) holds off Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match Napoli vs Liverpool. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

It remains to be seen whether either Manchester club is willing to cough up the big bucks for one of Europe’s most in-demand defenders, however it goes without saying that Pep Guardiola will be eyeing up one central defender come January, given the injury situation sustained in the early part of the 19/20 campaign.

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