In recent weeks, Kalidou Koulibaly and his agent have been talking a lot, and, well, it hasn't gone well for anyone. The Senegalese defender has drawn the ire of Napoli fans and ownership, with opinions of him seeming to sour after a series of comments that seemed to deride the club and city that had raised him to a high level as a player. That's created an apparent opening for a transfer, and now two of the biggest clubs in Europe are circling around to see if they can buy Koulibaly -- Chelsea in the Premier League and Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
Both are teams in need of defenders -- Chelsea have major issues in central defense with aging and underperforming talent, and while Bayern just bought Mats Hummels, new manager Carlo Ancelotti still wants another option in the middle given the injury-prone nature of some of his defenders. Ancelotti also apparently sees Koulibaly as a long-term option to replace Philip Lahm down the line, which is perhaps not surprising given Koulibaly's athleticism and Ancelotti successfully converting Branislav Ivanovic from a career center back into one of the better right backs in Europe.
Even with the tension currently between Koulibaly and Napoli, any deal to acquire him would certainly cost well north of €40 million. Napoli will probably be much more willing to part with him now than they were, though, after Kouliably and his agent belittled the club in recent weeks, going far enough to make Aurelio De Laurentiis threaten to fine the defender millions of euros over sponsorships he claims were lost because of what was said.
No matter what happens, this is starting to become a problematic relationship, and one that looks bound to end this summer. De Laurentiis still left the possibility of Koulibaly extending his deal open, but also made it abundantly clear that he was not happy with how things stand, even after an attempt at an apology from Koulibaly. With two megarich teams circling like buzzards, this summer might wind up being the one were Kalidou Koulibaly becomes an ex-Napoli player -- and that's a sad thing.