Transfer Talk – Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly eyes Barcelona switch but Chelsea Spurs Juve also in mix

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The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumors, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Koulibaly prefers Barcelona move

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is eyeing a summer move with Barcelona his favored destination, according to Diario Sport.

The center-back has one year left on his contract and his wish is to leave in a mutually beneficial transfer due to his long-standing relationship with the Serie A club, rather than leaving as a free agent in 2023.

Barcelona are aware of Koulibaly’s wish, but they have not yet made a move as they are waiting to see what Napoli do.

While Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus have all made an effort to start talks, Camp Nou is the Senegal international’s favored option.

Xavi Hernandez is keen to strengthen the heart of his backline and had asked for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde to be signed, but a € 65 million transfer fee and strong interest from Chelsea will likely inhibit a move.

On the other hand, Koulibaly’s transfer would be around € 35m, and his ability to play on the left of the central pairing will prove useful if Clement Lenglet or Samuel Umtiti end up leaving Camp Nou.

Napoli want Koulibaly to stay and have offered him a new contract, but it seems clear that the defender has not renewed.

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Barcelona will try to include a player as part of the deal, with Napoli open to the idea of ​​incorporating Miralem Pjanic either on loan or a permanent transfer.

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PAPER GOSSIP

– Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is watching Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount‘s contract situation, after the England international’s talks stalled following the club’s sale to new ownership, claims The Sun. Liverpool and Manchester City are said to have also made discreet inquiries about the 23-year-old.

– Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku‘s representatives have met with Internazionale in order to work out how a move could materialize, reports Sky Sports Italia, who add that both parties are aware everything must go through the Blues ownership. It is expected that only a loan move would be possible, while any transfer would need to be completed by July due to tax advantages.

– Juventus are in a strong position to sign Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, with Paris Saint-Germain pulling out of a potential deal and Manchester City being a no-go, according to Calciomercato. With Pogba’s contract reaching its culmination at the end of June, Juventus are set to offer a net value of € 8m-per-season plus bonuses, which would put the Frenchman alongside Matthijs de Ligt as their biggest earner, with a length of the contract at least three years.

– Lazio want to sign Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek if either Sergej Milinkovic-Savic or Luis Alberto departs, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Serie A outfit would offer the Englishman € 4m-per-year, while Chelsea are expected to demand at least € 20m. Despite this making any move difficult for Lazio, they will see it as a necessity if either of the aforementioned midfielders leave.

– It seems increasingly likely that Nayef Aguerd will join West Ham United, and Foot Mercato have suggested that Stade Rennais see Lyon center-back Jason Denayer as his replacement. The Belgium international is edging closer to the exit door at Lyon with his contract ending on June 30, and while there is expected to be competition from English clubs who would be able to offer more lucrative financial packages, Rennes are hoping they will be able to persuade Denayer to join.

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