Koulibaly Was On Anfield Short-List
Liverpool would have signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli had they failed to sign Virgil van Dijk in January 2018.
Netherlands international van Dijk moved to Anfield from Southampton for what was then a world-record fee for a defender of £75 million. He has since gone on to establish himself as one of the top centre-backs in the world.
But according to Goal, van Dijk was one of four names on Jurgen Klopp’s short-list. Had the Reds failed to sign the Dutchman they would have moved to the second name on their list: Senegal international Koulibaly.
The Napoli man has been linked in the past with interest from Manchester United but the Serie A side’s insistence on a transfer valuation of around €100 million – at the time worth around £85 million but now the equivalent of £90 million – meant United baulked at making a move.
The other two names on Liverpool’s list – which was compiled in 2017 – were Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich and Aymeric Laporte, now of Manchester City.
Boateng is now 31 and was by far the oldest player on the list.
Laporte has since become a mainstay of the City defence. He moved to the Etihad from La Liga side Athletic Bilbao in 2018. However, he is currently out injured after picking up a knee injury in City’s victory over Brighton at the end of last month.