Napoli chief admits Chelsea star Jorginho is hindering Man City’s Kalidou Koulibaly talks
Manchester City ’s efforts to sign Kalidou Koulibaly are being hindered because of their bad blood with Napoli, according to the Serie A side’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis.
The ill-feeling stems from City’s attempt to sign midfielder Jorginho from the Italians in 2018, only for Napoli to pull the plug on the transfer at the last minute.
In the end he joined rivals Chelsea after Maurizio Sarri took over at Stamford Bridge after leaving the San Paolo earlier that summer.
Pep Guardiola is now keen on Napoli defender Koulibaly, but De Laurentiis has admitted a move is proving difficult because of the poor relationship between the clubs.
He told Canale 21 : “How can we have a normal and calm negotiation with Manchester City to sell Koulibaly?
“They won’t talk directly with us because of the Jorginho deal two years ago.”
It is claimed that the Premier League side have already agreed personal terms with Koulibaly, but cannot agree a fee with Napoli.
Differing numbers have been banded around as to how much it will take to prize the Senegal international away, but City are believed to have already had a £53million offer refused.
However, De Laurentiis said: “I have answered on this via SMS, because an important English newspaper wrote to me asking: ‘What is happening with Koulibaly and Manchester City?’.
“I answered that Manchester City is saying it can’t talk directly with us because of the problem with Jorginho.
“How can we then proceed with a serious and serene negotiation for the transfer of a player? Is the reasoning clear?”
De Laurentiis added: “Koulibaly and [Arkadiusz] Milik are both on their way out, transfer market permitting.
“So, if the transfer market allows us to sell these two excellent players, we will know how to replace them. If not, then we’ll discuss it again next year.
“Kalidou is a great person, I would be terribly sad to lose him. But there is a time for everything, even to move apart.
Although City have already signed Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for £40m, more defensive signings are needed.
Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are also being linked with Koulibaly, who now seems likely to leave this summer.