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Napoli owner admits Liverpool’s interest in Koulibaly’s centre-back understudy

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is aware of Liverpool’s interest in centre-half Nikola Maksimovic.

The Reds have previously eyed the Serbian and have been linked with new additions in defence this month.

Jurgen Klopp is without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez while the injury prone Joel Matip is also currently absent.

It has forced the German into seeking makeshift solutions or turning to younger, less experienced players.

A lack of centre-halves is threatening to hamper Liverpool’s ambitions as they look to retain their Premier League crown.

Maksimovic has come into the Napoli starting XI recently as he steps in for Kalidou Koulibaly.

Nikola Maksimovic has been on Liverpool’s radar

The Senegalese star is another man previously linked with a switch to Anfield, but De Laurentiis won’t be letting him leave for less than £100m.

He also has no interest in sanctioning Maksimovic’s departure either.

TalkSport’s Jim White had a conversation with the Napoli chief and said: “There isn’t a window in the last two, three or four that we don’t see big mentions of the Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

“This morning, I spoke to Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Napoli owner, and said what about your player, are there bids in for him?

Jurgen Klopp’s side have not won in their last three

“He laughed it off saying he’s not for sale. He’s absolutely not for sale unless one of the big clubs in England come up with £100million.

“He then says to me ‘I thought you were going to refer to our defender Nikola Maksimovic, the Serbian who is 29 years of age, and Liverpool ’s previous interest in him’.

“So I said ‘are Liverpool still interested in your defender?’ He interrupted me to say of course with injury problems to Gomez and Van Dijk but no they haven’t heard from them of late.

“But it seems on this occasion Koulibaly is going nowhere. He stays and that was as recent as this morning. Anyone going in with anything other than £100million for Koulibaly can forget it.”




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