Kalidou Koulibaly’s agent, Fali Ramadani, will return to Napoli and is preparing to do so with a formal bid from Liverpool.
That’s according to Il Mattino, who cover the transfer saga building around the Napoli centre back this summer.
Koulibaly is widely expected to leave the Serie A side, particularly if they fail to reach the Champions League, as the new contract he signed last summer would be deemed unmanageable by the club.
Naturally, should he be available then all of the major clubs in Europe would be keen on his signature.
Several have already been linked, including Liverpool, who are thought to be looking at the Senegalese defender as the perfect partner for Virgil van Dijk.
So far there hasn’t been a formal bid or any suggestion that one is coming from Anfield, despite numerous reports on their interest.
That is about to change, though, according to Il Mattino, who say his agent is about to ‘formalise’ proceedings for Liverpool.
The newspaper reports that following a ‘mission’ in Naples a few weeks ago – presumably to discuss his client’s future – Ramadani is about to return to the city.
This time will be to ‘formalise the offers’ from Liverpool and rivals Manchester City with bids for the player, but ‘neither will exceed €80m’.
This amount won’t be enough, though, as Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis wants to make as much money as possible from selling Koulibaly this summer and is demanding at least €100m for him.
That is because part of the income generated from a sale will be used to find a replacement, with Lille’s Gabriel Magalhães at the top of their list.
Whether Liverpool or City will offer such an amount for Koulibaly isn’t mentioned, but common sense would suggest they won’t.
The Reds have already pulled out of a deal for Timo Werner because they didn’t have the money while City already find themselves in trouble with FFP over their spending.
That would suggest both sides are unlikely to be spending huge sums on Koulibaly at any point, although there is every chance they can bring that asking price down considerably anyway.
De Laurentiis’ style is usually to start high and come down gradually when it comes to his players, and there’s every chance that’s a strategy he’s repeating when it comes to Koulibaly.