Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has laughed off January interest in reported Liverpool (opens in new tab) target Kalidou Koulibaly and set an asking price £100 million for the defender.
The Senegal international has been regularly linked with a move to the Premier League in recent years after an impressive spell in Serie A.
Manchester City (opens in new tab) were interested in the 29-year-old before signing Ruben Dias from Benfica last summer, while their rivals United (opens in new tab) have also been linked and Liverpool showed interest after Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez suffered serious interested earlier this season.
But a mid-season move appears to be off the table after De Laurentiis laid out his demands during a conversation with TalkSport (opens in new tab) presenter Jim White.
“There isn’t a window in the last two, three or four that we don’t see big mentions of the Napoli (opens in new tab) defender Kalidou Koulibaly,” White said.
“This morning, I spoke to Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Napoli owner, and said what about your player, are there bids in for him?
“He laughed it off saying he’s not for sale. He’s absolutely not for sale unless one of the big clubs in England come up with £100 million.”
De Laurentiis did however admit that Koulibaly’s defensive partner, Serbia international Nikola Maksimovic has caught the eye of Liverpool.
“He then says to me ‘I thought you were going to refer to our defender Nikola Maksimovic, the Serbian who is 29 years of age, and Liverpool’s previous interest in him’,” White continued.
“So I said ‘are Liverpool still interested in your defender?’ He interrupted me to say of course with injury problems to Gomez and Van Dijk but no they haven’t heard from them of late.
“But it seems on this occasion Koulibaly is going nowhere. He stays and that was as recent as this morning. Anyone going in with anything other than £100million for Koulibaly can forget it.”
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