Anele Ngcongca’s former Genk teammate Kalidou Koulibaly is reportedly open to leaving Serie A club Napoli at the end of the season.
Koulibaly, who has maintained contact with the Mamelodi Sundowns right-back, has attracted interest from Europe’s biggest clubs. The Senegalese has been on the radar of Manchester United for a while, something Ngcongca sees as no surprise considering “the steady growth he has made over the years”.
According to Gazetta dello Sport, the 28-year-old international is looking for a way out of the club amid growing interest.
Interestingly, his agent Bruno Satin has previously hinted the lanky defender’s desire to move away from “a small club”.
“Kalidou has a contract which could see him stay at Napoli for a long time, but if there were to be the possibility to move to a club who can play in the Champions League every year, then we would have to consider it,” Satin told So Foot.
“Napoli have done well in the transfer market, but in terms of their structures, they are still a small club.”
Ngcongca believes his ex-teammate has “established himself as one of the best defenders in world football over the last few seasons”. Koulibaly, whose contract with the Naples side runs till 2023, has been named in the Serie A Team of the Season for the past four years following his consistent displays.
Besides his long-term admirers United, Koulibaly has also caught the eye of English Premier League rivals Liverpool, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur. Barcelona and Real Madrid are also said to be possible suitors.
A stumbling block in any possible transfer, though, could be the amount demanded by Napoli for his services with Koulibaly valued at around €80 million (R1.5 billion).
Koulibaly has scored 10 goals in 233 appearances for Napoli and has been with the Italian club since 2014 after joining from Genk where he played with Ngcongca for two seasons.
By Mthokozisi Dube