Man City willing to pursue Kalidou Koulibaly AND Lionel Messi - prepared to 'get towards' €80M for Napoli defender

Manchester City are prepared to continue their pursuit of Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, even as the separate pursuit of Barcelona star Lionel Messi continues, according to the latest reports from England.
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Manchester City are prepared to continue their pursuit of Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, even as the separate chase of Barcelona star Lionel Messi continues, according to the latest reports from England.

If the finances of a move for Lionel Messi weren't great enough, try combining them with a move for Kalidou Koulibaly during negotiations with none other than Aurelio De Laurentiis. That being said, the latest claims seem to suggest that Manchester City are willing to put themselves in exactly that position, with an intent to continue their pursuit of their number one centre-back target.

According to Sam Lee of the Athletic, Manchester City are still willing to sign 29-year-old Kalidou Koulibaly, even as the Lionel Messi pursuit continues. Napoli official Aurelio De Laurentiis is playing hardball but Manchester City are 'confident' that they will find an agreement eventually.

The biggest question marks appear to surround the price tag or the price Manchester City are willing to pay for the Senegalese central defender. According to Sam Lee, Aurelio De Laurentiis has told Manchester City that he wants €90 million for his star defender. That being said, it is claimed that City are 'unruffled by that figure' and have communicated to Napoli that they 'remain confident' a deal will be agreed. Manchester City are in fact prepared to get towards €80 million once bonuses are included.

It had been mooted in the very early stages of the summer transfer window that Manchester City did have a top-end budget of €300 million to spend this summer - following a combination of relaxed FFP regulations and their success in the appeal against a two-year European ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It does suggest that City do indeed have the financial calculations in place to fund such groundbreaking deals this summer.

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