Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has set Kalidou Koulibaly’s price tag at €90m (£81m), with the defender attracting serious Premier League interest.
Koulibaly is considered one of the best centre-backs in world football and has made just shy of 250 appearances for the Serie A side since arriving in 2014.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are among the clubs to have linked with the defensive colossus. De Laurentiis acknowledged this interest recently but insisted that it would take a big money offer to pry his star asset away from Stadio San Paolo.
“Kalidou is a wonderful person and of course it’d be sad to lose him,” the Napoli chief told Sky Italia (via the Metro).
“Everything has a time and a place, even when it comes to going our separate ways. Having said that, we don’t have €90m (£81m) on the table and in any case, it takes two to separate.”
Napoli’s bargaining position has been significantly weakened by missing out on Champions League qualification. Gli Azzurri started off the season with Carlo Ancelotti in charge but he was dismissed in December following a falling out with De Laurentiis over player performance.
The Napoli chief had previously imposed a media blackout on the squad after they refused to go on a training camp following a string of poor performances last autumn. Tumultuous events off the field have clearly had an impact with the club set to finish seventh. An injury to Koulibaly that kept the 29-year-old out for 10 league games also did little to help their case.
The player himself – who has three years remaining on his current deal – is thought to be open to a move, although publicly he insists that he remain fully committed to the Napoli cause.