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Juventus rival Barcelona in Kalidou Koulibaly pursuit
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According to a report by Italian publicationGazzetta dello Sport, Kalidou Koulibaly is the subject of interest from Juventus over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Serie A giants have joined Barcelona in the race to sign the Senegalese defender from Napoli.
Kalidou Koulibaly joined Napoli from KRC Genk in July 2014 and has progressively improved with each passing year. The 30-year-old is now one of the best defenders in Serie A, having been one of the most reliable performers for thePartenopeiin the last eight years. Koulibaly has also tasted success at the international level, winning the Africa Cup of Nations this year.
The Senegalese international has made316 appearances for Napoli thus far while chipping in with 14 goals and seven assists. But Koulibaly faces an uncertain future at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium as his contract will expire next year, with developments on the renewal front being slow. Such a situation has captured the attention of Barcelona and Juventus.
The interest from Barcelonais understandable, considering Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet and Oscar Mingueza are surplus to requirements at Camp Nou. In addition, Gerard Pique is approaching the end of his glittering career, meaning Barcelona will need to bring in a centre-back who can be the leader of the defensive pack.
Koulibaly has thus emerged as a viable target for Barcelona, withthe two parties reportedly in advanced talks over a possible summer move. But Barcelona will have to fend off stiff competition from Juventus in the race to sign the Senegalese international from Napoli.
Juventus will lose Giorgio Chiellini as a free agent in the summer transfer window, with the veteran Italian defenders departure leaving a gaping hole in the defensive unit. In addition, Leonardo Bonucci is in the twilight of his career, while Merih Demiral could exit the Serie A club permanently ahead of the 2022/23 season.
Koulibaly has thus emerged as an option worth considering, although Napoli could play spoilsport by refusing to negotiate with their Serie A rivals. In addition,Luciano Spalletti is also lobbying to hand the 30-year-old a new target, leaving Barcelona and Juventus in a spot of bother in his pursuit this summer.
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