LONDON, United Kingdom, Sept 3 – Manchester City could make an improved offer for defender Kalidou Koulibaly having already agreed to double his pay.
Both Manchester clubs have been chasing the Napoli centre-back for more than a year. But it would appear that City are the firm favourites to seal his signature.
According to Sportitalia and France Football, as cited by Football Italia, City are sending a new proposal to the Serie A side in the coming days.
Napoli’s asking price for the Senegal star currently sits at €80million. City are so far said to have offered €70m plus bonuses.
President of the Italian side, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has already admitted that Koulibaly, plus Arsenal and Tottenham target Arkadiusz Milik, will be leaving this summer.
He said: “Koulibaly and Milik are both on their way out, transfer market permitting.
“So, if the transfer market allows us to sell these two excellent players, we will know how to replace them. If not, then we’ll discuss it again next year.”
France Football maintains that Koulibaly has already agreed terms with City, who are prepared to double his current salary to €12m per year. They will also add on control of his image rights.
It had been reported in Italy that the 29-year-old was eager to remain at Napoli. He was happy with a minor wage increase to €7m per year plus bonuses, but De Laurentiis refused.
Should he arrive at the Etihad, Koulibaly will give City a new-look central defensive pairing.
Pep Guardiola has already landed Nathan Ake in a £41m deal this summer. And the duo could form part of a back three with the impressive Aymeric Laporte, if Guardiola opted for a change of system this season.
The City chief wants to toughen up at the back, despite his side conceding just 35 league goals last term.
Koulibaly would almost certainly give them that stability. He has emerged as one of the top defenders in Italy over the last couple of seasons.
The news would come as a blow to United, however, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a big Koulibaly fan.
However, the Red Devils are also monitoring the progress of RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano ahead of a potential bid.