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Serie A giants ready to sell veteran centre-back to Barcelona

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Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Today’s front page from Diario SPORT, among other things, features a brief up on the future of Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Napoli superstar is believed to be one of Barcelona’s top two defensive targets in this summer transfer window, as Xavi Hernandez looks to bring in a new centre-back.

Jules Kounde is the top target, but his exorbitant price tag has compelled Barça to keep tabs on the situation of Koulibaly, whose contract at Napoli expires at the end of next season. He could thus be available for a cut-price deal this summer.

It was reported lately that Koulibaly has no plans to renew his contract in Naples. He will either remain at the club or leave Napoli for free in 2023.

Diario SPORT now suggests Napoli are prepared to cash in on Koulibaly in the summer, as they look to avoid selling him for free next year. It has served as a major boost for Barcelona, who are desperate to bring in the Senegalese international.

Previous reports in Spain have speculated a figure of around €35 million for Koulibaly, which might prove to be too expensive for Barça.

Hence, the operation remains tricky for the Catalans, who are, in any case, likely to prioritise a move for Kounde. The Frenchman, after all, is a far more athletic and technically astute option than Koulibaly, and given his age, he could be an ideal long-term replacement for Gerard Pique.

Barcelona have been boosted in the Kounde pursuit lately, with Chelsea reportedly prioritising a move for Matthijs de Ligt. However, it remains to be seen whether the Frenchman’s hefty price tag proves to be a major stumbling block for Barça.

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