This should have been a great summer for Napoli, but instead it's been miserable. Gonzalo Higuain leaving, continuous near-misses in transfers, the media trying to get Marek Hamsik to leave, and, of course, the Kalidou Koulibaly saga, which took a bad turn on Monday.
In June, Koulibaly's agent made numerous comments that were denigrating to Napoli and Naples as a whole. Instead of refuting his representative's words, Koulibaly pretty much confirmed that they were how he felt. That kicked off a wave of drama and poor feelings, both from fans and from Aurelio De Laurentiis.
De Laurentiis isn't a stupid man, though -- despite what some vocal fans may think -- and he kept trying to get Koulibaly to sign ever-increasing extension offers because he's the team's best defender and they need him. Instead, the Senegal international's agent kept talking trash, Koulibaly stayed silent, and transfer rumors swirled of moves to Chelsea or Everton.
Now, after increased offers from both clubs and another extension offer from Napoli, this is his agent's latest broadside. Fair warning, it's a doozy.
Let's be clear, I went to meet the president at Dimaro last Saturday. That I know of, he's not about to renew and the future doesn't look rosy. The player's desire is to leave and the signs we're receiving from Napoli don't exactly pressure him otherwise.
We've decided to leave for economic reasons. After what happened to Higuain, though, Kalidou will not be leaving for Juventus or another competitor.
Chelsea still want him and there's time to close the deal.
-Translated quote source: Football Italia
Napoli have rejected several offers from both clubs, in a range reportedly between €40 and by some accounts upwards of €55 million. With pressure mounting and the player's desires to no longer be a Napoli player public, it may finally be time to pull the trigger on the deal and start a scramble for a top-shelf defender on top of Napoli's existing high-energy search for a big-time striker. Oi.
Kalidou, if this is really what you want and how you're going to act, well, don't let the door hit you.