NAPOLI – Senegal and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been touted as the best central defender in the world despite recent reports suggesting new Manchester United’s Harry Maguire is the best one.
This comes after the Italian Serie A club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis voiced his anger at the Red Devils’ massive £80m transfer fee they paid to Leicester City for the English centre-back.
Resulting from the staggering payment to the Foxes last week, Maguire became the world’s most expensive defender when he switched to the English Premier League outfit.
The £80m fee paid by Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer’s side surpassed the amount Liverpool paid to get Durch international Virgil van Dijk from Southampton last season.
Van Dijk moved to the Reds from the Saints on a staggering £75 million fee in January 2018 and became the world’s most expensive defender.
“He has a clause of £150m. But, for example, in England, they paid £85m for a player. In Napoli, I would pay £30-£35m,” De Laurentiis told ESPN.
“With that in mind, I think Koulibaly’s value is £250m if they paid that much for that guy.”
Meanwhile, the Lions of Teranga international defender has been heavily linked with a move to the EPL with several clubs reportedly keeping him on their radar.
The likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea were linked with the lanky centre back’s signature, but the Italian side is not ready to part ways with Koulibaly.
Taking a glimpse at Koulibaly’s contribution, he has scored 10 goals in 212 appearances for Napoli and is contracted to the Serie A club until 2023.
Although he was suspended in the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cup final, he helped the West Africans to reach the final as they lost to Algeria last month.
Maguire guided the Red Devils to secure a clean sheet in their opening EPL encounter against Chelsea where they clinched a 4-0 win on Sunday.