There is news in Italy in an exclusive from Calciomercato.it that Newcastle have submitted a massive bid of around £18.8M (€25M) for 24 year-old 6ft 5ins tall Napoli center-back Kalidou Koulibaly, and that comes after reports yesterday that Newcastle had a bid of £12.8M (€17M) for 24 year-old Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini turned down.
We have been linked with Koulibaly since last summer and there have been reports that Newcastle were interested in the Senegal defender since that time.
Kalidou Koulibaly – 6ft 5ins Napoli center-back
The defender has been in good form for Napoli since finally nailing down a first team place in the Napoli side after Rafa Benitez left for Real Madrid in the summer and he is attracting the attention of a number of clubs.
What´s surprising from earlier reports is the size of the fee which is more than double that previously mentioned.
The 24 year-old Koulibaly was signed from Belgian club Gent in the summer of last year, and he has so far played 59 times for Napoli and is playing well and settled at Napoli – and that will make it even more difficult for Newcastle to sign this player next month.
Koulibaly was born and raised in France by Senegalese parents, and was eligible to play for both countries.
He played 11 times for the U-20 French youth side starting in 2011, but in early September decided to play for Senegal and he made his debut in September in an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Namibia in a 2–0 win.
The last time we were linked with the player was in late December and at that time the player himself was quoted by L´Equipe as saying the following:
“Some teams have tried to sign me, but Napoli said no to several offers, such as €15M from Norwich.”
€15M is around £11.25M
In the report in Calciomercato , Napoli Sports Director Christian Guintoli makes it clear that Koulibaly is not for sale and he doesn´t want to sell him in January.
Newcastle will need to bid big in order to persuade good players to join the club this month, but it´s not going to help that we are in 3rd bottom place in the league and lost our fourth successive game yesterday at Watford.
And for the fourth time in a row we were eliminated at the very first hurdle in the FA Cup.
We now face Manchester United at home on Tuesday night and we must starting winning games if we are to have a chance of surviving relegation this season.
We need about three top players like Koulibaly and Gabbiadini brought in before the January transfer window closes and we are now nearly one third of the way into the transfer window.