During a chat with Jim White from TalkSPORT, Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis let slip Liverpool’s interest in Kalidou Koulibaly’s fellow centre-back, Nikola Maksimovic, as reported by the Mirror.
The Serie A side have already slapped a £100m figure on their star man amidst interest from other elite sides.
“This morning, I spoke to Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Napoli owner, and said what about your player [Koulibaly], are there bids in for him?” White recalled the conversation. “He laughed it off saying he’s not for sale. He’s absolutely not for sale unless one of the big clubs in England come up with £100million.”
“He then says to me ‘I thought you were going to refer to our defender Nikola Maksimovic, the Serbian who is 29 years of age, and Liverpool ’s previous interest in him,” the radio host added. “So I said ‘are Liverpool still interested in your defender?’ He interrupted me to say of course with injury problems to Gomez and Van Dijk but no they haven’t heard from them of late.”
While many of us will have been clamouring for Jurgen Klopp to sign the Senegalese, Liverpool’s supposed interest in his centre-back cover will have likely come as something of a surprise.
At 29 years of age, however, we find it somewhat hard to believe that the club’s interest in the Serbian is genuine.
Indeed, while Maksimovic continues to cover for his fellow injured centre-half, we doubt the Naples side will be happy to see the former Torino man leave for Anfield in January.
While we’d love to see the likes of Koulibaly at L4, £100m is hardly a feasible fee to cover during the current global crisis we face.
Though the Reds may not make a move for either Serie A defenders, there are concerns that a failure to rectify our defensive crisis could lead to the title switching hands come the season end.
It’s a massive risk to take, but there are few managers who could potentially make it work as well as Klopp could.