In anticipation of landing all that Saudi money, Newcastle United are said to have reached out to Napoli over a potential move for centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.
A consortium backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is close to completing a huge £300m takeover of the club, and fans have already started going wild over the prospect of an enormous summer spending spree.
While dreams of signing Kylian Mbappé might be a little too far, there are still plenty of other fish in the sea for Newcastle. According to Foot Mercato, their focus is on making a statement by landing Koulibaly.
The Senegal international has been linked with a move to Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester United, but Napoli‘s €80m (around £70m) asking price is said to be a bit of a problem – especially given the financial uncertainty of what football will look like when the coronavirus crisis is over.
However, it seems as though Newcastle aren’t too concerned by that. The Magpies are said to have a transfer budget of around £150m, which would obviously be more than enough to strike a deal for Koulibaly.
The 28-year-old is believed to be happy with life in Naples, with Foot Mercato going as far as to say that Koulibaly has recently bought a new house in the city, but he would still be interested in heading to the Premier League if the right opportunity arrived.
At first glance, the idea of Newcastle landing Koulibaly sounds a little laughable, but hesitance from other teams to meet Napoli’s asking price could open the door for Steve Bruce’s side to strike the unlikeliest of deals.
With Financial Fair Play regulations (slightly) relaxed, Newcastle could afford to splash out this summer without bringing any money in, but whether that will stretch far enough to fund a move for Koulibaly is currently uncertain.
On top of Koulibaly, Newcastle are also said to be looking to strike deals for both Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir and Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, in the hope of adding at least one big name in defence, midfield and attack.
With Cavani available on a free and Fekir thought to be valued at close to €50m (£44m), that £150m would do the job – but Newcastle may still have a battle to convince those players that a switch to St James’ Park would be their best bet.