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Napoli demand hefty transfer fee from Liverpool for Senegal international

Napoli’s owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has officially set defender Kalidou Koulibaly’s price, insisting the centre-back won’t leave for less than £81 million.

Kalidou has been attracting plenty of interest from these shores. Liverpool, Manchester United nad Manchester City have all been tracking the player, who is considered to be one of the best central defenders in Europe.

Napoli are open to letting him depart, however, De Laurentiis won’t sell him cheaper than the club’s asking price – despite reports claiming the star was willing to reduce his valuation.

‘Kalidou is a wonderful person and of course it’d be sad to lose him,’ the Napoli president told Sky Italia.

‘Everything has a time and a place, even when it comes to going our separate ways. Having said that, we don’t have €90m (£81m) on the table and in any case, it takes two to separate.’

Napoli will not be involved in premier European football next term, which has prompted fresh reports that he will quit the club.

The 29-year-old has spent the past six years with I Partenopei and has been capped 42 times by Senegal. He has not shut down talk of a summer exit, however.

‘In football, you never know what happens. I never spoke to Napoli about leaving,’ Kalidou told Gazzetta dello Sport.

‘If we have to find a solution, we will find it, but I have never talked about the transfer market.

‘I also read in the newspapers about my future. But I only want to think about playing, I am 100% [committed to] Napoli and it bothers me to be linked, every day, to this or that European club.

‘We will see what the president will decide and if he proposes to extend my contract, that would allow me to end my career here. At the moment, I still have a three-year contract and I am not thinking of anything else but Napoli.’