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Kalidou Koulibaly targeted by Bayern Munich and Carlo Ancelotti

Napoli may have to fight to hold onto their prized defender.

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Napoli have been in on-and-off negotiations for a contract extension with Kalidou Koulibaly for the last two months, and those negotiations might soon become just a little bit more urgent. Reports coming out of Italy indicate that Koulibaly is on the shortlist of transfer targets this season for manager Carlo Ancelotti, who will be taking over Bayern Munich this summer in the wake of Pep Guardiola's imminent departure for English shores.

While it's interesting to see that Koulibaly's profile has risen so high, it probably shouldn't be that big of a surprise. Koulibaly is the exact kind of strong, athletic defender that Ancelotti drools over, and central defense is an area of the pitch in which Bayern definitely need to invest heavily this summer, especially as they move away from Guardiola's pell-mell system and into a more traditional style of play. They're also rich enough that they could easily afford practically any fee Napoli name -- even the €40 million release clause they want in Koulibaly's new contract being negotiated -- so there's plenty of reason to think that such a deal could happen.

There's also plenty of reason for doubt, however. Not just that such a deal could happen, but that there's any real interest at all. You see, it's interesting that these rumors are about Bayern Munich. You might remember them as the team that Koulibaly's agent, Bruno Satin, brought up at random in his bizarre anti-Napoli rant two months ago. And they're the team that Satin has brought up at random pretty much every time he's talked about Koulibaly since then.

Maybe Satin is trying to work a deal with Bayern, but the significantly more likely scenario is that his constant mention of them is simply a negotiating ploy -- just like this convenient rumor, which very much has the feel of an agent-fed plant with little in the way of real substance behind it.

There's just enough plausibility to the link to take a moment of pause, thanks to Koulibaly's apparent fit for Ancelotti as a player, and with Bayern as a player at a position of need. But with the way the Senegalese defender's agent has been acting, that plausibility is overshadowed by too much circumstantial convenience to ignore. Maybe there's a grain of truth to these rumors, but for now, don't buy too much into the hype.