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Barcelona manager Xavi keen on summer move for Kalidou Koulibaly

Barcelona manager Xavi is keen on signing Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, reports Diario AS.

The Catalans want to upgrade their defence in the summer and have placed out-of-favour stars like Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti on the chopping block.

Having reached an agreement for the summer transfer of Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, Barca have now set their sights on Koulibaly.

Xavi sees the Senegalese centre-back as the perfect addition to fortify the backline that already contains the likes of Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique.

Koulibaly has been one of the top defenders in Europe due to the consistency he has shown at Partenopei over the last few seasons.

The 30-year-old was the subject of a transfer race between European heavyweights last summer and prior, but a move never materialised due to Partenopei’s high valuation.

Moreover, the chances for his departure from Diego Armando Maradona stadium this summer are even less as the Partenopei are preparing a new contract, which could see him extend his stay until 2026.

However, Barca have reportedly contacted Koulibaly’s agent Fali Ramadini to ask not to accept the renewal offer from the Italian club in an effort to persuade the defender to Camp Nou.

They also would have to cough up around €40 million if they were to sign Koulibaly in the summer.

With Pique’s best years behind him, Barca need a top-quality and experienced centre-back to lead the defence, and Xavi believes Koulibaly is a worthy replacement for the Spaniard.

Barca are also said to be working on a deal to sign Ajax’s young centre-back Lisandro Martinez.

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