Newcastle’s prospective new owners haven’t even been handed the keys to St James Park , but they are already said to have started promising to throw money at players like Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are on the cusp on completing a £300m takeover of the Magpies, and Koulibaly is one of countless high-profile names to have been linked with a move once the deal goes through.
Newcastle aren’t the only side to be keen, with Manchester United and Liverpool both rumoured to be interested in bringing Koulibaly over to England. However, Area di Rigore journalist Paolo Esposito told Area Napoli that it is Steve Bruce’s side who have offered the most money to sign him.
“Juventus do not have the economic strength to buy the Neapolitan Kalidou Koulibaly,” he said. “I believe he will go to the Premier League, where there is Newcastle in pole position. Then there are Manchester United and Liverpool, who have much more charm than Newcastle but offer less, both for the transfer fee and for the contract.
“Of course, if Koulibaly went to Liverpool, he would form a stratospheric couple with Virgil van Dijk! The best defensive couple in the world!”
90min understands that the PIF are confident that their takeover will soon be confirmed, and they could be in the driver’s seat at St James before the end of May, so it seems like they may be trying to get a head start on their transfer business.
Napoli are keen to receive close to €80m to part ways with Koulibaly this summer, and given the financial uncertainty of the current situation, most teams are hesitant to come close to that for a defender who will be 29 by the time the window opens.
That could open the door for Newcastle, but the idea of an ageing Koulibaly passing up a move to a genuine Champions League side in the hope of starring in a new project on Tyneside seems a little far-fetched.