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De Laurentiis: ‘Can’t force Koulibaly to stay’

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis says he wants Kalidou Koulibaly to stay at the club but can’t force him to stay in Naples. The Senegalese centre-back has a contract with the club until 2023 but is attracting interest from Barcelona amid talk of a possible summer sale.

Speaking at the ‘Race for the Cure’ event in Naples, De Laurentiis touched on Koulibaly’s future with the club:

He is a symbol of Napoli, and if he wants to stop being a symbol, he is the one who has to decide that. We want Koulibaly to stay, but it’s not like you can force people.

Everyone has their own dignity and their own needs. We respect everyone, do you know that I have forced anyone to stay, even with a few years on their contract?

The only one I have forced, and whom I greet because he’s a dear friend, is Walter Mazzarri, after two years he told me he wanted to leave, I told him he would stay. He did and gave us four years of satisfaction.”

The Napoli president also addressed the rumours surrounding Victor Osimhen, who is wanted by both Manchester United and Arsenal:

We had him at half service for two years, making judgements is always ill-timed. Every league is different, every team changes in the course of preparation: it’s always an unknown. What you have to put on the field is the psychological side.

I’ve always been of the opinion that you need a male or female psychologist, because a woman is always more pleasant.

But then you must not get the coaches into trouble, because they might say inappropriate things, creating a barrier of convictions in the player himself that clash with the idea of the coach. We have always abstained, out of respect for the coach.”

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