Napoli rejected a huge offer in the region of €65million ‘from Manchester’ for star defender Kalidou Koulibaly during the transfer window, today’s edition of Gazzetta dello Sport claims.
In an article with information that appears to have been briefed by the Naples club, it isn’t specified whether the offer came from Manchester City or Manchester United, but either way Napoli turned down the offer as well as a proposal of €100million from Barcelona for Lorenzo Insigne.
Despite the mammoth bids from abroad, Napoli ‘didn’t even hesitate’ as they look to build a side that can end Juventus’ domination of Serie A this season.
City were in the hunt for a centre-back in the transfer window, but it is doubtful whether this was Koulibaly as the focus seemed to be on a home-grown player, with Jonny Evans becoming the main target after links to Ben Gibson. When Eliaquim Mangala snubbed moves to Spartak Moscow, Stoke City and Crystal Palace though, a deal for the former Manchester United defender fell through.
The offer for Koulibaly (if it existed, as Italian clubs like to boast) may well have come from Old Trafford, as United did sign a foreign centre-back in the form of Victor Lindelöf, so Koulibaly could have been a previous target for Jose Mourinho.
City and Napoli almost did business for another player, with the Partenopei coming close to landing Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchenko on loan, only to pull the plug on a deal at the last minute. Zinchenko appeared on City’s Premier League squad list yesterday, so assuming he has a work permit, could be utilised by Pep Guardiola this season.