Barcelona eye world record move for Serie A defender
Barcelona's search for centre-back has taken them to Italy, and they are planning to raid Napoli. According to Corriere dello Sport (via Sky Sports), Napoli's asking price of £88 million hasn't deterred Barcelona in their pursuit of the Kalidou Koulibaly.
The record transfer price for a defender right now is £75 million for Liverpool's Virgil can Dijk, and if the move takes place, it will overtake the world record. They were linked with the defender in the summer, as well but the move didn't take place.
Barcelona hasn't had the best of starts to their La Liga campaign, but they have begun their Champions League on a positive note. They top their group, a group which has good quality teams like Tottenham, Inter Milan and PSV. Lionel Messi has been the main man for them, as always and the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele have supported him well.
It isn't just the centre-back position that has worried Barca as their centre-forward has also been poor. Luis Suarez has been dreadful this season, and they are looking to sell him and land a good replacement.
Barcelona's centre-backs, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen have been injured, leaving them in a crisis at the moment. Also, Gerard Pique hasn't been his old self and has been the reason for a couple of Barcelona's poor results this season. This warrants for a good quality centre-back to be roped in and there are few better than the Napoli star.
When Napoli placed the hefty price tag, they hoped it would deter Barcelona, but it definitely hasn't. Blaugrana are willing to spend a big amount to solve their defensive crisis, and with the amount of budget they have, Napoli will be scared.
Koulibaly is a physically strong defender whose aerial prowess is dominating. He can not only play as a centre-back but can also play as a full-back or as a defensive midfielder. If FCB can rope him in, it will be a great coup and a severe loss for Napoli.