Real Madrid are preparing to make an offer for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly next summer, according to reports.
Central defender Koulibaly is said to have been on the wanted list for both Real Madrid and Barcelona for some time as he continues to impress both at Napoli and for his national side Senegal.
The 28-year-old is now widely regarded as one of the finest defenders in world football with his form widely heralded as being among the best at Europe’s top level.
Calciomercato report that Los Blancos have identified Koulibaly as a long-term replacement for Sergio Ramos, who is currently 33 and whose contract expires in the summer of 2021.
“I loved Koulibaly the man so I refused €105m, but a time will come when I'll have to sell him,” Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis told Sky Italia.
“Whoever says we didn't improve our defence is wrong.”
The defender was said in a recent Diario AS report to have been a preference for Barcelona in light of missing out on Matthijs de Ligt, who joined Juventus from Ajax this summer.
Reports have suggested the Italian club would only be willing to sell the defender for upwards of €100m, which may have scuppered any move in previous transfer windows.