Napoli Star’s Former Agent Confirms Barcelona Are Interested in Pursuing a Deal

?Barcelona are interested in pursuing a deal for Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, according to the defender’s former agent Bruno Satin.

The Senegalese centre back was subject to interest from a host of European clubs over the summer, which was reported to have included a ?€100m bid from an unnamed Premier League club, after cementing himself as one of the top defenders in Europe. 

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Koulibaly, 27, has since signed a new deal with ?Napoli but it has failed to deter the Blaugrana, who ?sent scout Ariedo Braida to watch him during the midweek Champions League clash against Liverpool. 

He duly impressed having nullified the Reds’ potent attack and now Satin has verified the reports having told Radio CRC, via ?CalcioNapoli24“I confirm the interest of Barca. I’m sure Barcelona are interested because on Wednesday I talked to Braida who was with me at the Sao Paolo.”

It is not hard to see why Barcelona would be interested in making a move for the 27-year-old with both Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen edging further into their thirties.

However, with Samuel Umtiti and summer signing Clement Lenglet also on their list and Koulibaly set to demand a fee upward of €65m, Barcelona would need to get their house in order before making an official move. 

Having spent heavily in the last few transfer windows on the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Lenglet, Malcom and Arthur they would need to recoup funds in order to have a chance of bowing to the notoriously tough demands of Napoli’s chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis. 

Moreover, Koulibaly holds a French passport which would mean Barcelona would not have to register him in one of the limited spaces they possess for non-EU players. 

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Xavi Opens Door to Managing Barcelona as Club Legend Asks Fans for Patience in Difficult Run

?Barcelona legend Xavi suggested managing Barca down the line could be a possibility – but admitted it won’t be until he obtains the relevant coaching qualifications.

The midfielder, currently playing for Al Sadd in Qatar after his 18 trophy-laden years with Barcelona came to an end in 2015, said that he doesn’t currently have the required coaching badges to manage at an elite level, but hopes to have obtained them by May next year.

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When asked ‘when he would coach Barcelona’ in an interview with ?Sport, he said: “Now I can coach in small countries, but next year, in May, I hope to get the UEFA Pro license to be able to coach any team.”

Xavi went on to talk about how playing for ?Barcelona meant that a lot was expected of him as a player – and he is beginning to feel the same pressures on him to get into management. 

Current Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde’s post recently came into question after the Catalan giants went three games without a win before their ?Champions League victory at Spurs during the week, and Xavi was among the names talked about as a potential replacement.

He added: “As a player I was the same, people expect things from me prematurely, as when I was expected be the new Guardiola. Now I see it’s the same. We must be patient.”

That pressure is the reason that Xavi, who counts eight ?La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, and a World Cup among his honours, said he has enjoyed his time out of the spotlight in Qatar.

I do not like to be a protagonist, but when you play at Barça, you’re the protagonist,” he added.

“Now I’m more natural, I have more time for everything. Before I could not, because even if you are a minor at Barcelona, you have to take care of yourself and so on, and it has been a very beastly tension for many years “.

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Adrien Rabiot Reportedly Snubs Fourth Contract Offer From PSG Amid Liverpool & Barcelona Interest

Paris Saint-Germain star midfielder Adrien Rabiot is reported as having rejected yet another offer of a contract extension from the Ligue 1 giants. 

French source Paris United (via ?Sport) had previously disclosed that the player had turned down a €7m-per-year proposal from PSG. And they are now reporting that he has spurned their latest offer -their fourth – despite the club offering an additional €2m-a-year plus bonuses.

Negotiations between the French club and the player’s representatives have been rather frustrating. But he is said to be holding out for €10m as well as a hefty signing on fee. 

PSG, per the report, are unwilling to meet these demands, given their position as it relates to UEFA and Financial Fair Play. However, they run the risk of losing Rabiot for free next summer, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

The Frenchman will be permitted to negotiate with other interested clubs from January 1 and there are fears he could leave the Parc des Princes following the culmination of the current campaign.

Spanish supremos Barcelona are understood to be keen on signing the midfielder, but they will expect competition from Premier League side and last seasons’ Champions League finalists Liverpool, who are also credited with an interest in the French star.

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Rabiot’s camp, though, has maintained that he wants to remain with PSG, the club whose ranks he went through as a youngster, yet he could have his head turned if he speaks to representatives from other big clubs in Europe next year.

Barca and Liverpool should be encouraged by the player’s turning down of his club’s latest offer. And they won’t have much longer to wait before getting the green light to negotiate.

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Barcelona Send Scouts to Watch Napoli Defender Kalidou Koulibaly Against Liverpool

?Barcelona are eyeing a move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, and sent scouts to assess the Senegalese centre back against Liverpool this week.

Koulibaly was one of Serie A’s top defenders last season and several of Europe’s biggest clubs were known to be interested in taking him away from the Stadio San Paolo, ?before he signed a new contract in September. 

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However, the Senegal intern?ational’s new five-year deal has not put off Barcelona, who sent scout Ariedo Braida to watch Wednesday’s Champions League match, according to ?Mundo Deportivo.

Braida would have been interested to see how Koulibaly fared against one of Europe’s most potent attacks, but Liverpool did not pose that much of a threat. However, Braida would still have been impressed as Koulibaly did his prospects no harm with a clean sheet.

The 27-year-old defender, who stands 6ft 5in tall, joined ?Napoli from Genk in 2014 and has played over 170 matches for the Partenopei since then. He made 35 Serie A appearances last season as Napoli recorded their highest ever points tally.

Barcelona will have plenty more chances to assess the €65m-rated Koulibaly’s ability in the Champions League, as Napoli next face a double-header against Paris Saint-Germain and their formidable front three of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe.

They then face Red Star Belgrade in Naples before visiting Anfield on December 11.

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Ivan Rakitic Claims Messi Should’ve Have Won FIFA Best Award Ahead of Croatia Teammate Modric

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakiti? believes his international teammate Luka Modri? should not have been given FIFA ‘The Best’ award ahead of Lionel Messi, despite the Croatian’s outstanding season for club and country.

Real Madrid’s Modri? joined Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo on the three-man shortlist for the award last month, while Messi finished in fifth place during voting, behind even Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé.

Although Rakiti?, who reached the World Cup final alongside Modri?, was pleased to see his international teammate get some well-deserved recognition at the awards ceremony, the 30-year-old is of no doubt who the best player on the planet actually is.

“Sometimes there are circumstances like Luka Modri? doing an outstanding season and maybe people want to change a bit,” Rakiti? said after Barcelona’s triumph against Tottenham on Wednesday, as quoted by Goal.

But, with all respect, Luka and the others know there is a player who is different to the others, and that is Leo Messi.”

Messi was the star of the show as Barcelona stunned audiences across the world during their emphatic 4-2 win over Tottenham. The Argentina international scored twice, hit the post twice, and even provided two key passes which set up the Blaugrana’s other goals.

His performance at Wembley Stadium didn’t just bring praise from Rakiti?. Fellow Barça star Jordi Alba also spoke about Messi after the match, claiming that the whole awards ceremony was “a big lie” for picking Real Madrid’s Modri? ahead of Barcelona’s captain.

“For me, The Best is a big lie. Modri? is a great player, just one of the best but Messi is on an entirely different level, he just is,” Alba said, quoted by Marca.

“He proved he is the world’s greatest. When he runs we can only do the same. He’s the best and he makes us better.”

Messi’s performance against Tottenham in the Champions League earned plaudits from across the world of football. Although the Argentine has been putting in performances on par with Wednesday’s for a generation, the 31-year-old appeared to reach completely new levels of stardom in London.

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