Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that star centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly is not going to leave the club this summer, despite links to Arsenal and Manchester United, among others.
Speaking to La Repubblica this week, Ancelotti confirmed that his club have big ambitions for the future. Their plans depend on holding onto their star players, and the 59-year-old believes they’ll be able to do so this summer, including with in-demand defender Koulibaly.
“In pivotal positions, we are in place, the backbone is robust,” Ancelotti began (via CalcioMercato). “Two valuable goalkeepers, a reliable defence with a phenomenon like Koulibaly, the well-structured midfield with Allan, Zielinski and Fabian. We’re destined to grow, with targeted investments made in harmony with the club.
“The big names will all remain, Napoli is not forced to sell and make capital gains. Also, Koulibaly? Absolutely, from here he will not move.”
Koulibaly has most strongly been linked with clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid recently, but the English media did also connect Arsenal with a move for the defender last summer. The Gunners’ need for top quality centre-backs hasn’t exactly decreased since then, so it’s possible they’d join the bidding if he were available.
Unfortunately, it appears he won’t be. Perhaps Napoli are just trying to drive up the price, but making his market value any higher would rule Arsenal out of the running anyway.
In terms of his contract, the Senegal international is tied down until 2023, by which point he’ll be a couple of years into his thirties. Napoli are under no pressure to sell, and they seemingly have no desire to do so.