If Newcastle United are looking to bring a world-class defender to St James’ Park to lead a new-look defence, then it’s very hard to see past Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
Following the club’s takeover, marquee names across the globe continue to be linked with the Magpies.
With money available to spend big in the January transfer window, players, agents and clubs are inevitably going to be now linked with Newcastle.
But in order for the club to be able to challenge for major trophies, they have got to have a solid backline that gives the team a base to build from.
With the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Silva, Raphael Varane and Ruben Dias all in the Premier League, Newcastle could have their very own world-class defender leading the backline in Koulibaly.
The 30-year-old is playing under Luciano Spalletti and Napoli currently sit top of Serie A with seven wins from seven games.
Koulibaly is world class
At the age of 30, and with a contract until 2023, Napoli could be tempted to cash in on their star defender knowing that his value will only decrease as he gets older.
Koulibaly is a centre-back who is quick, strong and experienced.
He would be exactly what Newcastle’s leaky defence need.
The only issue would be acclimatising to the frantic tempo and pace of the physical Premier League at the latter stages of his career.
However, Thiago Silva has done it, so why couldn’t Koulibaly?
Everton, under Koulibaly’s former manager Carlo Ancelotti, were also said to be interested in the Senegalese in the summer, but financial fair play restrictions prevented them from mounting a move.
Unlike Everton, Newcastle won’t have the same worries with the club reportedly able to spend up to £190m and still remain within Financial Fair Play limits.
Koulibaly like so many other household names we have already mentioned would improve this Newcastle side.
He could be available for a lot less than the £89m he was previously valued, but Newcastle have to make sure Koulibaly is the right player to lead the club’s defence in the years ahead and that decision will mean delving deeper than the Senegalese international’s burgeoning reputation.
If he fancies the challenge on Tyneside, then he would be a quality addition that could transform the club’s leaky defence and be the perfect first piece of the starting eleven’s spine to build from.