Football News

Kalidou Koulibaly: Why I rejected PSG

By Ben Green

Published: 12:43, 11 January 2022

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has confirmed Paris Saint-Germain made an approach for his services but he rejected the French club.

The 30-year-old, who is currently on international duty with Senegal for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, has been linked with just about every major European club worth their salt since moving to Napoli from Genk in 2014.

Since relocating to Campania eight years ago, Koulibaly has gone on to establish himself as one of the best centre-backs across the continent, combining brains and brawn to marshal Napoli’s backline in a highly-succesful period for the club.

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He was an integral part of their successive runners-up positions in Serie A between 2017/18 (under Maurizio Sarri) and 2018/19 (under Carlo Ancelotti), just missing out on the Scudetto by four points in the former, while he also has a 2020 Coppa Italia medal to his name.

He is also a regular for standout metrics, having completed the second-most passes (8,853) of any defender across Europe’s top five leagues since 2017/18, behind only Milan Skriniar (9,213), with an exceptional 90.01% passing accuracy.

It is no wonder then that heavyweight clubs have tried to poach him from the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, with the Senegalese centre-back now revealing PSG attempted to make him part of their star-studded roster, but he rebuffed interest from the French capital.

“I spoke to them [PSG] and other clubs,” Koulibaly told Canal+.

“There was an interest, but I don’t like to talk about these things. Napoli didn’t sell me, showing all their love for me.

“I want to continue to do well and be among the best defenders in the world. I am happy that PSG thought about me, it means that I am doing well and this is encouraging.”

In other news, Koulibaly was recently ruled out of Senegal’s Afcon 2021 curtain-raiser against Zimbabwe on Monday afternoon having tested positive for coronavirus.

Koulibaly, along with Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Famara Diedhiou, all went into isolation, with Senegal manager Aliou Cisse describing the situation as “difficult and complicated”.

The Lions of Teranga were able to get their Afcon campaign up and running with a win, courtesy of Sadio Mane in the 97th minute, giving them a slender 1-0 win over Zimbabwe to sit second in Group B.

Senegal next face Guinea on Friday.

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