Kalidou Koulibaly has emerged as one of the most in demand centre backs in European football following another excellent season at the heart of Napoli’s defence, and a strong challenge for the Serie A title for Maurizio Sarri’s side.
Sarri has now departed as manager, and rumours persist in linking the Senegalese defender with a big money move away from Naples of his own.
Koulibaly to me on his future: "£100m? If you tell my parents this figure then I think they will have a good laugh. The price? The market dictates this. I just try to do my best on the pitch. I don’t think for a minute about my future during the World Cup." #COL #SEN #WorldCup— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) June 27, 2018
Vast figures have been mentioned in relation to any potential transfer for Koulibaly, with the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea linked with the 27-year-old, but the defender was keen to downplay transfer talk when quizzed on a potential switch by sports journalist Nizaar Kinsella.
Kinsella tweeted: “Koulibaly to me on his future: ‘£100m? If you tell my parents this figure then I think they will have a good laugh. The price? The market dictates this. I just try to do my best on the pitch. I don’t think for a minute about my future during the World Cup.’”
Whilst Koulibaly typically expressed a desire to focus on his commitment to his national team during the World Cup, it is notable that the defender did not rule out a move away from Napoli following the end of his involvement at the tournament in Russia.
Koulibaly and Senegal take on Columbia in their final match of Group H on Thursday. The African side currently sit second in the table, level on points with first placed Japan, and a point ahead of their opponents on Thursday, meaning that Koulibaly’s side have it all to play for against Columbia in their bid to qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup.
I can’t think of any centreback I’d pick ahead of Kalidou Koulibaly. At nearly 6’6 (198cm) he’s always a threat from set pieces. Add to that his reading of the game, and his improvement in possession thanks to Napoli’s style. This man is world class. #SEN pic.twitter.com/evu0LOgM7p— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) June 19, 2018
Any movement on the Napoli star’s future will clearly have to take a back seat for now, at least until the outcome of Thursday’s match decides Koulibaly’s next move.