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Kalidou Koulibaly offered contract extension

Koulibaly is the first of several players the club will be working with to lock up long-term.

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Thanks to a season that has seen him grow into wonderful form, Napoli have reportedly offered a new contract to Kalidou Koulibaly, and will apparently soon be working on tying up longer-term deals for several other players as well.

Koulibaly's current contract runs until 2019, but because of his unheralded status when Napoli dug him out of the Jupiler League in Belgium, his wages aren't particularly high. That makes it easier for other teams to turn his head with a transfer offer, so Napoli will likely be giving the Senegalese defender a hefty wage boost in order to keep that from happening. The 24 year old has been subject to plenty of transfer rumors over the last year, after all, including a number of English clubs drunk with tens of millions of euros in TV revenue.

It's hard to deny that Koulibaly has earned this. After a somewhat up-and-down debut season that saw him start hot but struggle in the second half of the season, Koulibaly has been consistently excellent in this campaign. He's had a few bad moments and a couple of substandard matches, yes, but the rest of the time he's been the high-quality anchor of Napoli's much-improved defense. That's worth a lot, and Napoli would love to make sure he stays in Naples for a long time to come.

Koulibaly is far from the only player Napoli want to extend right now either. According to reports, Gonzalo Higuain, Lorenzo Insigne, Faouzi Ghoulam, and Dries Mertens will all soon be offered new deals to stay in Naples long-term. All but Insigne -- whose deal is up in 2019 -- have contracts that expire in 2018, meaning that without extension in place, this summer would be the "sell or start to lose value fast" transfer window for the players, something Napoli would really rather avoid.

It's good to see Napoli working on trying up their key players to contracts, especially when they've been so well earned. Hopefully there's a few more names to come after that group, but it's certainly an excellent place to start with in the meantime.