Barcelona set to battle it out for Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images) /

With Barcelona looking to get rid of Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique on his last legs, one of the priorities this summer for Joan Laporta is to sign one or two center-backs.

The Catalans have long been linked with Manchester City’s Eric Garcia and that deal is set to be announced at any moment. But it appears that the club has now turned its attention to Italy.

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Barcelona join race to sign highly sought-after defender.

According to Sport, Barcelona are interested in acquiring Napoli center-back Kalidou Koulibaly, whose contract runs out in 2023 and has yet to agree to an extension with the Serie A side.

However, Barca are not the only ones reportedly after the 29-year-old.

Both Manchester City and Manchester United have been linked with Koulibaly and if the Blaugranas are truly interested, then they’ll have to battle it out with the English giants.

Koulibaly has long been rumored with a move away from Napoli but it’s yet to happen. One of the reasons Napoli might be interested in selling, despite the player having a few more years left on his deal, is because of COVID.

The pandemic has hurt every club financially, in one way or another, and Napoli is no exception. Their rationale behind a possible sale is it will allow them to net a decent profit should he be sold.

This transfer rumor, like many others, should be taken with a grain of salt. At the moment, Barcelona are focused on identifying players whose contracts are expiring and could arrive as a free agent as their financial situation dictates.

Koulibaly is an experienced, elite defender but if it comes down to a bidding war, there is little chance, if any, that the Catalans could outbid the two Manchester sides.

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With the previously mentioned Eric Garcia close to arriving and the emergence of Oscar Mingueza and Ronald Araujo, for the first time in a while, Barcelona has decent cover in defense making a potential signing like Koulibaly’s no longer a necessity.