Paris Saint-Germain have moved ahead of Manchester City in the battle for Kalidou Koulibaly and are confident they can land the Napoli centre-back. City have been interested in the Senegal international, 29, but the French champions have made progress in making him Thomas Tuchel’s main defensive arrival of the summer in a deal worth around £75million. Telegraph Sport revealed last week that Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde is now in Pep Guardiola’s sights as a deal for Koulibaly has proved difficult. The France Under-21 defender has a £68.25million buyout clause which his club want to get close to before allowing him to leave for the Premier League. Sevilla sporting director Monchi has confirmed City have seen a bid rejected for Kounde, on the eve of the UEFA Super Cup fixture against Bayern Munich. "It's true, in the last days we received an offer from a club to sign Kounde, he heard about it and we rejected it," he said. "If they make another offer, we will listen to them again and we will answer but only we can choose when we will answer them. "I know Kounde pretty well, and I'm sure he is focused on how he will defend against [Robert] Lewandowski, [Leroy] Sane, [Serge] Gnabry or [Thomas] Muller." Koulibaly valuation is above the £70million bracket that City look at, with a club policy of refusing to overpay in the market despite the wealth of their Abu Dhabi owners. Getting a deal done has been complicated by City’s bad blood with Napoli after a deal for Jorginho two years ago collapsed at the last minute and the midfielder ended up joining Chelsea. While City showed interest, earlier this month it was revealed there was no contact between the clubs and a possible move was only discussed through intermediaries. It is understood PSG are further advanced in their attempt to land Koulibaly. Koulibaly was seen at the Etihad Stadium as a player to potentially fill the hole left by Vincent Kompany after he left to start his coaching career at Anderlecht in his native Belgium. They have also looked at Uruguay centre-back José Giménez but Atletico Madrid want £81million plus £4.5million in add-ons for the 25-year-old. City have drafted in Nathan Ake in a £41million deal and will allow Nicolas Otamendi to leave for the right price. John Stones has been out of favour but he wants to stay and fight for his place in Pep Guardiola’s team. Guardiola has been told by Eric Garcia wants to leave the club to return to Barcelona, which would mean he is another defender down for the 2020/21 season.
The match was played in front of 1,000 spectators as Serie A stadiums reopened on Sunday to a limited number of fans after a seven-month coronavirus lockdown.
The Senegalese defender continues to be linked with a move away and his manager concedes a transfer may be necessary to balance the club's 'numbers'