Kalidou Koulibaly

Premier League transfer rumor roundup
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Transfer rumor roundup: Everton to Everton, Koulibaly to Man Utd

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Sometimes, the gossip mill gives us legit laughs.

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Gremio executive director Klauss Camara had the distinct privilege of giving a truly wondrous comment regarding one of his players.

“Everton in Everton is a situation that has been coming out more intensely. But there is no proposal put forward.”

The club is Premier League side Everton, and the player is 23-year-old winger Everton Soares. He’s scored 30 of his 47 career senior goals the past two seasons in becoming a 14-times capped Brazil international.

Sky Sports reports that Arsenal, Spurs, and a host of other clubs have registered interest in the player, but that Everton the club may leap into action this January.

That could also make for a lot of difficulties for media, not that that should discourage Carlo Ancelotti or Marcel Brands. Then again, Everton stars for Liverpool might make the world explode in irony.


Could Kalidou Koulibaly end years of life in the transfer rumor roundup by actually transfering this month?

Football.London says the 28-year-old center back wants out of Napoli, and that Manchester United may be willing to pony up the big bucks.

United reportedly bid over $100 million for the player in the summer, and it’s almost certain that United would have to break its own defender transfer fee record to land Koulibaly. He’s been an absolute monster for the Neapolitan set, racking up 232 senior appearances since arriving from Genk.

Partnering with Harry Maguire at center back or joining Maguire and Victor Lindelof in a three-man back line would allow attacking fullback talents Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams to create plenty of headaches for the Premier League.

Koulibaly also has been lauded for his class in discussing the racial abuse he’s suffered in his career.

USWNT’s Rapinoe lauds Sterling, Koulibaly in acceptance speech

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Megan Rapinoe again used her pulpit to shine a light on worthy topics.

Awarded FIFA’s Best women’s player award on Monday in Milan, the USWNT superstar and two-time World Cup winner addressed two men’s stars who have faced racial abuse this year.

[ MORE: Five USWNT players make Best XI ]

After thanking her friends, family, and coach Jill Ellis, Rapinoe turned her attention to black stars from Manchester City and Napoli.

From the BBC:

“Some of the stories that inspired me this year, Raheem Sterling and Koulibaly their incredible performance on the field and their reaction to the disgusting racism they have to take.

“If we really want to have meaningful change, if everyone other than Sterling or Koulibaly was outraged, if everyone was outraged by the homophobia. We have such an incredible opportunity being professional footballers, so much success, an incredible platform.

“I ask everyone here, lend your platform to other people, share your success. We have a unique opportunity to use this game to actually change the world for better. I hope you take that to heart, do something, we have incredible power in this room.”

Koulibaly opens up about racist abuse

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Kalidou Koulibaly has been racially abused on many occasions by opposition fans in Serie A.

After those shocking incidents, the Napoli and Senegal center back wants to remind us of one thing. In his words, ‘We are all brothers’ on this planet.

Koulibaly, 28, has spent the past five seasons at Napoli and he believes that trying to change the attitude of youngsters is how society, not just soccer, can reduce racist incidents in the future.

He grew up in the Saint-Die district of Paris and recalled how the entire neighborhood would come together, no matter which country they were from, to help one another out.

Below is a snippet from the excellent article on Players’ Tribune, as Koulibaly recalls what happened when he was racially abused by Lazio fans during a game against them.


At the final whistle, I was walking to the tunnel, and I was very, very angry. But then I remembered something important. Before the match, there was a little mascot boy who walked with me to the pitch, holding my hand. He asked if he could have my jersey. I promised that I would give it to him after the match. So I turned around and went looking for him. I found him in the stands and gave him my shirt. And guess what’s the first thing he said to me?

“I am very sorry for what happened.”

This really affected me a lot. This little guy was apologizing for I don’t know how many grown men. And this was the first thing he thinks about — how I was feeling.

I told him, “It doesn’t matter. Thank you. Ciao.”

This is the spirit of a child. This is what we are missing in the world right now. I know that these incidents are not just happening because of skin color. I hear what some fans call my teammates, too. They call the Serbian players “gypsies,” they call even an Italian like Lorenzo Insigne “Neapolitan s***.” We need to do better.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Spurs snag Clarke, Arsenal eyeing French youngster

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According to a number of reports across England, Tottenham may have secured its first new player signing in 511 days, rumored to have completed a deal for Leeds United winger Jack Clarke.

The BBC reports that Clarke has flown south to London for a medical and that the $12.7 million deal is finalized. The report states there are further, unspecified add-ons to that base payment should they trigger.

The 18-year-old made 25 appearances for the Leeds first-team last season, scoring two goals assisting two more as they reached the playoff semifinal. Clarke’s arrival will mark the first Tottenham signing since Lucas Moura joined in January of 2018, famously failing to sign a player last summer to much criticism, before making a run to the Champions League final during the season.


Arsenal is reportedly after a pair of transfer targets, one on either end of the pitch.

First, more concretely, reports indicate that the Gunners are set to bat the signature of young French defender William Saliba. The 18-year-old currently plays for St. Etienne and saw significant playing time last season, bagging 16 league appearances good for over 1,200 minutes as he helped the club secure a Champions League place with a fourth-place finish, aided by the third-best defensive record in the league.

According to an ESPNFC report by Julien Laurens, the two clubs have reached an agreement for Saliba in the range of $28 million, with the Gunners beating Tottenham and PSG to the punch. Saliba will stay at St. Etienne on loan next season as he looks to continue developing at his boyhood club.

The Gunners are reportedly also following Monaco winger Keita Balde, with the Senegal international currently on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. The 24-year-old spent last season on loan at Inter, where he racked up 24 Serie A appearances – mostly off the bench – scoring five goals and assisting three more.

Reports in Italy indicate that while Inter had the option to buy at the end of the loan spell, they declined as they believed the $38 million price to be too expensive. With Monaco struggling mightily this past season and in serious flux, it’s likely that Balde could move on and help the French club gain funds to reinvest.

Balde found the back of the net in Senegal’s opening AFCON match, a 2-0 win over Tanzania, marking his fourth international goal in 24 caps.


Another African on international duty is Kalidou Koulibaly, whose future is still under serious speculation.

Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti said Wednesday – completely joking, mind you – that he won’t even return from his vacation in Canada if the club sells Koulibaly. That won’t stop the two Manchester clubs from having a go, and to this point Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has held firm that only a bid that reaches his $154 million release clause will pry him from the Italian side.

Koulibaly wouldn’t be drawn into speculation about his future when approached at the tournament in Africa, saying, “I don’t know [if I’ll still be at Napoli next year], I think so, but I have to play the AFCON and then after that I’ll go back to Napoli.”

Manchester United has been much closely linked with Koulibaly than Manchester City, but it may be difficult to convince him to switch with the Red Devils not participating in the Champions League next season.


Everton is reportedly in the hunt for Juventus striker Moise Kean according to the Liverpool Echo, with the 19-year-old breaking out last season with The Old Lady. He scored six goals in 13 appearances down the stretch of the season, coming into the squad after the club had all but secured the league title.

While he is a big strike prospect for Juventus, the club is somewhat crowded at the position with Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, and Mario Mandzukic at the position. The club surely could take its time bringing him along, but apparently a disciplinary issue while with the Italy U-21 team at the Euros this summer has added to the club’s concern, along with his hesitation at signing a new contract. Kean’s current deal expires next summer, so this would be the time to cash in on his high-rising stock.

The report states it would cost around $34 million to land the youngster and Ajax is also in the mix.

Report: Manchester United submits huge bid for Koulibaly

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According to Italian tabloid Corriere dello Sport as reported by Football Italia, Manchester United has submitted a bid for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly upwards of $107.7 million.

The report states that since the Red Devils are anticipating a swing and miss on Matthijs de Ligt, they have now set their sights on the 27-year-old Senegal international who has been an absolute workhorse for the Serie A side since joining in 2014. Koulibaly has made at least 27 Serie A appearances in each of his five seasons at Napoli, topping the 30-game mark in three of the last four seasons including 35 games played in each of the last two campaigns.

Koulibaly reportedly has a $170 million release clause that becomes active next summer, with his contract not set to expire until the summer of 2023 having signed an extension just last year. Still, Koulibaly has been a wanted man over the past few years, with Napoli fending off rumors constantly.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has been firm in his valuation of $113 million for Koulibaly even as far back as last November when reports came out of a bid from Manchester United. Corriere dello Sport themselves reported that Napoli rejected a bid $102 million from Real Madrid for Koulibaly back in late May, proving De Laurentiis a tough nut to crack. However, if the latest bid is indeed a reality, it could test the executive’s resolve with the submission coming so close to his valuation and providing the club with a massive financial influx.

Koulibaly is currently on international duty with Senegal in the African Cup of Nations, set to begin play in the tournament on June 23 when they take on Tanzania in the first game of group stage play. They have a friendly against Nigeria to navigate first, scheduled for June 16. Koulibaly’s last two starts for Senegal both ended in clean sheets, with wins over Equatorial Guinea and Madagascar completing the AFCON qualification cycle.