Kalidou Koulibaly’s agent reveals Norwich City’s interest in the Napoli defender

Another defender was among Alex Neils top priorities in the summer transfer window.

Another defender was among Alex Neils top priorities in the summer transfer window. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

It was close but no cigar for Norwich City in their attempts to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly – according to the centre-back's agent.

The 24-year-old Senegalese stopper was heavily linked with the Canaries throughout the summer transfer window. And while another defender was among Alex Neil's top priorities, it was also the one that Norwich could not get over the line before deadline day passed earlier this month.

'Early in the summer the player was put up for sale by Napoli, but with a very high asking price,' said Koulibaly's agent Bruno Satin in an interview with Radio Kiss Napoli.

'Maybe at a certain point they realised it could be a mistake to sell him. Also, the teams interested were not on the same level as Napoli. We spoke to Southampton, Norwich and Bayer Leverkusen. They were looking for a defender on loan. Napoli asked for twice as much as they'd spent (sic).'

Speculation at one point suggested City had lodged an £8m bid for the former Metz and Genk defender, who played in Serie A and the Europa League last season, where Napoli reached the semi-finals and will compete again this term.

'The club were looking at a lot of players for the defence, when they already had a player like Koulibaly – who is potentially stronger than some of them,' said Satin.

'The lad was happy in Naples and didn't want to take a step back in his career. I hope now that he can find some space under (coach Maurizio) Sarri.'

Most Read

Rafa Benitez had been in charge at the Stadio San Paolo last season before taking charge at Real Madrid in the summer.

Satin added: 'If he remains on the bench for too long then obviously his market value would decrease compared to last season, and that would be harmful for the club too.'