Rafael Benitez keen to be reunited with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly
Napoli are prepared to drop their demands for Kalidou Koulibaly / Michael Steele/Getty Images

Rafael Benitez has made getting a new defender one of his top priorities, with Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli being his primary choice.

The new Everton coach, according to 90min, has urged the club to pursue Koulibaly, who might be available for approximately £35 million this summer.

Since taking over at Goodison Park last week, Benitez has been analyzing his team and believes that a top-class centre-back is required to challenge for European qualification.

Michael Keane, Mason Holgate, Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina, and Jarry Branthwaite are currently available for Everton, but Koulibaly is seen as an obvious upgrade.

Benitez was the man who brought the Senegal international to Napoli in July 2014, buying him for £6.5 million from Genk.

Since then, Koulibaly’s worth has skyrocketed, as he has established himself as one of Serie A’s greatest and most dependable defenders.

He has nearly 300 appearances for Napoli in all competitions over the last seven years, attracting interest from many of Europe’s top clubs.

Manchester United and Liverpool have been connected with Koulibaly in the past, but Napoli have been hesitant to sell.

That position appears to have shifted now that he has two years left on his contract, making him one of the club’s best earners, and Everton are trying to take advantage.

The report of Koulibaly’s stay at the club came last year, when Napoli won the Coppa Italia final, defeating Juventus 4-2 on penalties.

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