Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed why Manchester City will not negotiate with the Serie A side for in-demand defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegal international has been on the radar of a number of Europe’s elite sides following his impressive displays in both Italy and in the Champions League over the last few seasons.
The former Genk man arrived at the Stadio San Paolo in 2014 and has emerged as arguably the most sought after defender in the land, making an impressive 183 Serie A appearances during his time at the club.
One side who have been regularly linked with the 29-year-old is Man City, the Premier League runners-up seeking to add some steel to a squad that has often been exposed due to their defensive vulnerabilities.
Pep Guardiola’s side have already recruited Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake so far this window – as well as promising young attacker Ferran Torres – yet they remain in the market for a dominant right sided centre-back to line up alongside Aymeric Laporte.
However, despite the Naples based club seemingly eager to sell their star asset, and with City in dire need of a long overdue replacement for former captain Vincent Kompany, negotiations appear to have hit something of a stalemate.
While the inevitable exorbitant fee may be a fact in the halting the proceedings – the player is quoted to cost in excess of £80m – De Laurentiis believes that it is, in fact, an old grudge that is the major sticking point in negotiations.
‘How can we have a normal and calm negotiation with Manchester City to sell Koulibaly?’ De Laurentiis told Canale 21.
‘They won’t talk directly with us because of the Jorginho deal two years ago.’
Man City were publicly outraged after losing out on the Italy international to Premier League rivals Chelsea in the summer of 2018, despite believing they had sealed the deal with De Laurentiis and the player.
However, club and player pulled a shock U-turn, and Jorginho moved to Stamford Bridge in a £57 million move to link up with his former manager in Naples, Maurizio Sarri.