MANCHESTER CITY are close to wrapping up a £68million deal for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports.
The Italians need the cash to fund their £55m transfer of 21-year-old Lille striker Victor Osimhen.
City boss Pep Guardiola wants Koulibaly to be his new Vincent Kompany.
The Belgian retired at the end of last season.
Senegal international Koulibaly, 29, is also wanted by Manchester United.
Transfer Window Podcast reporter Duncan Castles claims Napoli are ready to do a quick deal with City for Koulibaly as they desperately want Osimhen for their Europa League campaign next season.
He claims: “The information I have from the Italian end is that that funding is intended to come from Koulibaly’s sale.
“So that should help accelerate the process of his move, most likely to the Premier League.
“He is a very much wanted by Manchester City.
“They have been baulking at the transfer fee Napoli are asking for the player, with numbers around 70m, 75m euros being looked for by Di Laurentis the Napoli owner and chairman.
“In addition, Napoli have been looking for a replacement for Koulibaly, also a player from Lille.
“That’s Gabriel, their centre back, a 22-year-old Brazilian who is very good at bringing the ball out of defence as well as having strong physical characteristics as a centre back.
“He is wanted by Everton and they remain interested.
“There is also interest from Inter but the best offer on the table to date is Napoli’s.
“Manchester United have also been asked to be kept informed and updated.”
Guardiola desperately needs a new partner for Aymeric Laporte.
He is set to sell John Stones back to Everton this summer.
When Laporte suffered a long-term injury this season, it hit City’s campaign hard.
But if Laporte misses any time next season, Guardiola hopes to have Koulibaly to partner either Eric Garcia, Nicolas Otamendi or possibly even Blackburn loanee Tosin Adarabioyo, who has impressed in the Championship this term.