Barcelona have their sights set on defensive reinforcements this summer. The Blaugrana have a deal in place to sign Andreas Christensen from Chelsea when his contract expires next month.
However, manager Xavi Hernandez wants to add another top-quality centre-half to his ranks amidst the injury woes of Gerard Pique.
And Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli have emerged as possible options for Barcelona to reinforce the defence.
Kounde, though, could be an expensive proposition for the Catalans owing to his €80 million release clause, while Chelsea are also pushing hard to sign him, making things difficult.
It could force the Blaugrana to look at Koulibaly as a more serious option. The 30-year-old could possibly be available for a much cheaper price as his contract with Napoli stands to expire in 2023 and he has rejected a new offer from the club.
Indeed, as reported by Italian journalist Giovanni Scotto, Koulibaly has turned down the latest contract proposal put forth to him by Napoli.
As per the update, the Partenopei had offered the Senegalese man-mountain a new deal worth €3.5 million per year, which would be half of his current salary which stands at €6 million-a-year plus bonuses.
Koulibaly, though, has flat out rejected the proposal from the Serie A outfit, which could now mean he could be made available for a transfer in the upcoming summer window. The report adds that Napoli would likely let go of their defensive mainstay for a sum of €30 million.
At 30, Koulibaly might not be a long-term solution for Barcelona. But given their current financial situation, the Napoli star would be very much a viable signing. He is a proven operator at the highest level with loads of experience and will add leadership to the side.
With the defender rejecting Napoli’s contract offer, Barcelona stand a chance of swooping in for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations winner.