It’s been hard to escape, in recent weeks. The chatter about Liverpool supposedly being interested in signing Kalidou Koulibaly. And today brings a pairs of twists in the supposed transfer saga—a saga that, for the record, we believe to be entirely fictional.
Twist one is that Liverpool and Manchester United are preparing competing €100M offers, with both now willing to meet Napoli’s asking price. Twist two is that Paris Saint-Germain is also entering the competition to sign the veteran Senegalese centre half.
Both twisty tidbits come by way of the French press, which makes some sense given PSG’s name being added to the mix. Regardless, it’s hard to imagine all this chatter is anything but the work of a desperate agent or, perhaps more likely here, selling club.
That’s because it appears a near certainty that, whatever happens when it comes to Serie A’s June restart plans, Napoli won’t be in the Champions League next season. Koulibaly, meanwhile, turns 29 right about the time Italian football is scheduled to return.
That means that this offseason likely represents Napoli’s last chance to sell the dominant defender for a big transfer fee, especially with no guarantees the world will be coronavirus-free and back to normal a year from now—when Koulibaly will be entering his 30s.
A club with financial question marks and a big name player approaching the end of his peak years sends a clear signal about who stands to gain the most from all this talk of Liverpool being ready to put in a €100M bid despite the current, uncertain landscape.
And on that front, even without said uncertainty we’d have a hard time believing the rumours—Virgil van Dijk, it’s worth noting, was three years younger when the Reds moved to sign him, and the club continue to view Joe Gomez as his long-term partner.
Liverpool still may make signings this offseason, but they won’t be setting a new record fee to bring in a centre half who will turn 29 before he would be able to play his first minutes for the club. Anyone thinking otherwise needs to give their head a shake.