Manchester City have already agreed a salary with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and are now ready to raise their bid to €70m plus bonuses.
The Citizens have already completed the signing of Nathan Ake from relegated Bournemouth but are still eager to bring in another centre-back. Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones have both been criticised for their performances this season, and the club’s Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Lyon also raised questions at the back.
One of the names most strongly linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium is Koulibaly, who has also attracted attention from Manchester United and Liverpool in the past. However, reported earlier this month that neither of these sides will be making an approach, which has opened the door for City to begin negotiations in earnest.
Significant progress has been made as well, according to several respected journalists in Italy. Alfredo Pedullà has reported that the Premier League giants have already reached an agreement for Koulibaly’s salary and are now preparing a hefty bid to prise him away from Naples.
City are thought to be close to tabling a €70m (£63m) offer for the 29-year-old but Fabrizio Romano has claimed that relations between the two clubs are fraught. City came close to securing a deal for then Jorginho back in 2018, only for Napoli to allow the move to be hijacked by Chelsea at the last minute.
If an agreement can be reached, Koulibaly will become Pep Guardiola’s third signing of the transfer window after Ake and Valencia winger Ferran Torres. These arrivals are likely to coincide with several departures with club legend David Silva already leaving for Real Sociedad and young centre-back Eric Garcia in talks over a potential return to Barcelona.