Napoli could lose Koulibaly without Champions League: Dossena

Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked with a switch to the Premier League and Andrea Dossena concedes Napoli may be forced to sell him.

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly   -  Getty Images

Napoli could be forced to sell Kalidou Koulibaly if it does not qualify for the Champions League, Andrea Dossena has warned.

The Italian top flight is on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Napoli in sixth place and nine points adrift of Atalanta in fourth.

Before the shutdown, coach Gennaro Gattuso had been starting to make his impact felt having succeeded Carlo Ancelotti in December.

Dossena, who played for Napoli between 2010 and 2013, fears the club could lose some of its key players if it is unable to join Europe's elite again next term, having reached the round of 16 before play was halted this season.

And he is sure Koulibaly in particular would flourish, with the defender a reported target of Liverpool and Manchester United.

"To get nine points back from Atalanta is a mammoth challenge so should Napoli not clinch a Champions League berth, they should sell some players," Dossena told Stats Perform News.

READ: Coronavirus could cost Serie A over €700m: FIGC chief Gravina

"The two most valued are Fabian Ruiz and Koulibaly; the latter is the most likely to leave. Physical and speedy, he is one of the best central defenders in the world and can have his say in the Premier League, too."

Reflecting on Napoli's 2019-20 campaign to date, Dossena conceded the club had underachieved with Ancelotti at the helm but felt Gattuso was having a positive effect.

"It was supposed to be a great season for Napoli, the season with the biggest budget," he said.

"The owner [Aurelio De Laurentiis] had spent a lot and this was supposed to be Ancelotti's glory season. But there has been this setback, some difficulties.

"Then Gattuso came in and was so good at conveying his charisma, grit and will but mostly at giving the squad an elaborated style of passing and some established and clear ideas.

"But most of all he was logical in putting all the players in their natural role, going back to the 4-3-3 formation."

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos