Football

Man Utd receive Koulibaly boost as Napoli could lose 30 percent of players


Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso admits he only expects to retain “70-80% of the players” he currently has at the Stadio San Paolo.

The Italian side have a host of quality players but several of them have been linked with moves away.

Kalidou Koulibaly is one of those and Gattuso’s comments could alert Manchester United who have been linked with the defender and are eyeing a centre-half.

They spent a record £80m on Harry Maguire last summer but it could take more than that to lure the Senegalese defender to Old Trafford.

Arkadiusz Milik, Hirving Lozano and Allan are more of those linked with the exit door.

Kalidou Koulibaly could soon be leaving Napoli

“We don’t need to operate too much in the market,” said Gattuso.

“We have to see who’s going to leave us. Our chairman knows it – we speak about it every week. This is a strong team but I think that only 70-80% of the players will stay with us.

“We will do a few transfers but I know this team has great quality [already].”

One player who won’t be on the move though is Dries Mertens after the Belgian committed his future to Napoli.

Dries Mertens will be staying in Naples

The Belgian, who is now the club’s all-time leading goalsocrer, has been linked with Chelsea and Inter Milan in the past.

If Napoli are looking to keep their star players then Wednesday night’s victory in the Coppa Italia Final will have done them no harm.

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They overcame Juventus on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes with Gattuso admitting he felt like he on the pitch.

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“It was a great win,” he said. “I am 42 years old, this is my fourth final as a coach – I played 15 when I was a player, so that’s 19 now in my career.

“When you start, coaching is completely different. I have many responsibilities on my shoulders. Sometimes I act like I am the chairman, or the doctor, or the storekeeper, and it’s difficult when you live football like me.

“But it’s the only way I know how to live. That’s why I feel we won this trophy as if I played the game myself. I know where we started and how I pushed my players and the people working for the club. We deserved it.”





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