KEY POINTS

  • Napoli forced to deal Koulibaly due to needed funds
  • Osimhen acquisition expected to pay off
  • Chances low of Napoli retaining Koulibaly and Osimhen

SSC Napoli prefers to keep Kalidou Koulibaly, someone who has been linked to several clubs. Unfortunately, the Gli Azzurri is left in a spot following the record signing of Victor Osimhen. Napoli needs funds and a likely resolution to their predicament is to find a deal for the 29-year-old player.

No less than coach Gennaro Gattuso is aware that this is a resort that Napoli may be forced to undertake. In a previous post, it was mentioned how Gli Azzurri would only release the Senegalese player if their asking fee is met. But the Osimhen deal has changed their fortunes.

To recall, it was in July when Napoli acquired the Nigerian striker from Lille. The deal is said to be worth close to $96 million, making him the most expensive African player of all time, BBC reported.

But the stiff price shelled out by Napoli may now be a need with the club looking to raise funds. Koulibaly has drawn interest from several teams, particularly Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. The Senegal center-back played for Napoli in the Serie A opener and performed well. Gli Azzurri won over Parma 2-0.

"He has always given me great availability and always trains well. I would be sorry to lose him, both for the man and for the player,” Gattuso said to Sky Sport via Goal. "But you know that numbers are important for clubs and at this moment something needs to be done for numbers, but I'd be happy to keep him."

So unless Napoli can find some other way to keep both Koulibaly and Osimhen, the former is likely to be on the way out. Gattuso admits that Osimhen is a player who plays by his principles and someone who has a great attitude. He is confident that the Nigerian won’t change and will become a better player compared to what he has already shown.

"Osimhen is a lad who, in the 25 days I've been working with, I can tell doesn't forget where he started from, who made sacrifices, lost his family very young and has the head of a 40-year-old on 21-year-old shoulders,” Gattuso said. "I am confident he won't change, as he has a great attitude and at this moment is a better player than he's so far shown on the pitch."

Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli Photo: Getty Images | Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images