Premier League giants Arsenal have reportedly made contact with Serie A side Napoli to sign highly-rated central defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Gunners have struggled defensively this season and new manager Mikel Arteta is keen to strengthen his back-four in the winter transfer window.
Koulibaly fits the bill and is rated as one of European football’s best defenders.
Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Everton and Manchester United are both keen on the Senegalese star who is valued at around 55 million pounds by his club.
However, the price of the centre-back seems too costly for the London based club who don’t have the funds to compete with the rest of the Big Six. However, with Napoli’s interest in signing out-of-favour Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac, the north London club are hoping to use Kolasinac as a makeweight to and the 28-year-old centre-back.
Host Ian McGarry said on the latest episode of Reach plc’s Transfer Window Podcast: “I’ve heard, although can’t confirm, that Arsenal have also made contact with Napoli through a third-party regarding Koulibaly.
“This comes on the back of their desire under Mikel Arteta to strengthen their defence.
“And also that they’ve got some interest from Sead Kolasinac. So you could see the possibility of Kolasinac being offered to Napoli in part-exchange plus cash, although Di Laurentiis prefers cash for Koulibaly because he wants to strengthen his team up the Serie A table.”
McGarry added: “It’s my information that Koulibaly has informed Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis of his desire to leave the club in January.
“This has been an ongoing situation, but with the departure of Ancelotti, who he was very close to, has brought the issue to a head.”
Koulibaly is now seeking a move away from Serie A. This has begun an option process led by Carlo Ancelotti at Everton who sees weaknesses in the Everton backline.
“But probably just as interesting, especially given their current form at the back, is Manchester United have made contact with Napoli regarding Koulibaly and the price Napoli are asking,
“Koulibaly’s valuation is in excess of €65million [£55m].”
Arteta is all set to make his managerial debut on Boxing Day as The Gunners play Bournemouth away.