Liverpool ahead of Real Madrid and Manchester United in Kalidou Koulibaly race
According to Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Daily Mail), Liverpool are ahead of both Real Madrid and Manchester United in the race to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
The 28-year-old has firmly established himself as one of the best defenders in the world. The Italians value him at £89million and will not compromise on the price. This will make the Senegalese star the most expensive defender in the world, not to mention Liverpool’s record signing.
Napoli are willing to listen to offers for the player once the summer transfer window opens. According to the report, Liverpool are leading the line because of their willingness to add Dejan Lovren as a makeweight.
The Reds will be intimately familiar with the defender, having played against him four times over the course of the last two years. He helped the Italians keep two clean sheets and prevail in both the matches. Having caused our attack numerous problems, he is sure to have left an impression.
A luxury rather than a necessity
Liverpool already have a formidable centre-back pairing in Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Signing Koulibaly will give us another colossus at the back, but will come at the cost of Gomez.
The 22-year-old has shown he has what it takes to become a leading defender in world football. The Senegalese’s addition will only hamper his growth.
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Although partnering Koulibaly with Van Dijk would be a dream, he will not come cheap. It makes no sense for Liverpool to invest heavily in a defence that is already the best in the league.
Koulibaly is more of a luxury rather than a necessity. Liverpool do need an upgrade on Lovren but do not need to pay through their noses for a player who just isn’t what they are looking for.