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Xavi 'contacts Kalidou Koulibaly over summer Barcelona move'

Xavi 'contacts Kalidou Koulibaly over summer Barcelona move'
© Reuters
Barcelona boss Xavi contacts Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly to discuss a possible move to Camp Nou this summer, according to a report.

Barcelona boss Xavi has reportedly been in touch with Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly to discuss a possible move to Camp Nou during this summer's transfer window.

The Senegal international was again a key player for his Italian side during the 2021-22 campaign, contributing three goals and three assists in 34 appearances in all competitions.

Koulibaly only has little over 12 months left to run on his contract in Naples, though, and there has been a host of speculation surrounding his future ahead of the summer market.

A recent report claimed that Napoli would be willing to accept a fee in the region of €35m (£30m) for the 30-year-old this summer amid interest from Manchester United and Chelsea.

According to Sport, Barcelona are also firmly in the picture for Koulibaly, viewing him as the ideal signing to boost their defensive unit for the 2022-23 campaign.

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly pictured in October 2020© Reuters

The report claims that Barcelona boss Xavi has already been in touch with the centre-back to discuss a switch to Camp Nou in the upcoming market.

However, the Catalan giants will face a host of competition for his signature, with Juventus, Inter Milan and Roma already said to have made him an offer.

Koulibaly is allegedly determined to secure a move to Camp Nou, and the La Liga club will make room for him by moving on the likes of Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and Oscar Mingueza.

Napoli are thought to have valued the defender in excess of £90m as recently as last summer, but the Italian outfit are no longer in a strong position due to the length of time left on his deal.

Koulibaly featured on 27 occasions in Serie A during the 2021-22 campaign, contributing three goals and three assists, while he made seven appearances in the Europa League.

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly pictured in October 2019© Reuters

In total, the defender has made 317 appearances for Napoli since arriving from Genk in 2014, contributing 14 goals and eight assists in the process.

Barcelona have ongoing financial problems, but the club have managed to ease their issues in recent months and are planning to be active during the upcoming summer transfer window.

Xavi's side are said to be pressing ahead with a move for Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, although they might be forced to make a big sale this summer, with Frenkie de Jong continually being linked with Manchester United over the last few weeks.

Despite the expected departures of Lenglet, Umtiti and Mingueza, Barcelona are well-stocked in the middle of their defence, with Ronald Araujo recently signing a new contract, Eric Garcia enjoying a productive first season at the club, and Gerard Pique still contributing heavily at the age of 35.

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