?Barcelona are planning a summer move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly as a potential replacement for Javier Mascherano.

The Senegalese centre-back’s performances in Serie A have caught the eye this season, leading to speculation of an exit.

And after Mascherano announced his intention to leave Barcelona, Il Mattino – via Football Italia – have reported that Koulibaly could be set for a switch to the Nou Camp.

SSC Napoli v Juventus - Serie A

The 26-year-old is reportedly valued at around €60m having established himself as one of Italy’s most reliable defenders.

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri is determined to keep Koulibaly at the club, and president Aurelio De Laurentiis is believed to have already turned down approaches from Chelsea and Manchester City.

Chelsea also saw a £50m bid rejected last summer for Koulibaly, who had been named in the Serie A Team of the Season alongside Leonardo Bonucci.


Barcelona’s interest comes after the surprise news that Mascherano is set for an imminent departure.

The Argentine international confirmed he will bring an end to a seven-year spell in Catalonia, with speculation that he will move to the Chinese Super League.

“I think my stage here is ending,” he said. “It makes sense that after such a long time there’s not much more I can do at this club.

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