Southampton supporters in the Transfer Tavern were reasonably satisfied with their side following the Saints’ 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle United on Sunday, a result which ended a run of three straight defeats at St Mary’s.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s men had succumbed to Wolves, Watford, and Manchester United in their preceding home clashes, and looked set to suffer a fourth loss on the spin on the South Coast as Rafa Benitez’s Magpies twice took the lead, first through Isaac Hayden and then Ayoze Perez. However, Saints striker Manolo Gabbiadini bagged a brace, the second from the penalty spot after Florian Lejeune clumsily fouled Shane Long, to preserve a point for Pellegrino’s side, a result which sees them 11th in the Premier League table after eight games of the campaign.
And although they were unable to record a third win of the season, our resident Southampton fans were pretty happy with their team’s endeavour on Sunday, and they are likely to be intrigued by a recent report from Calcio Mercato (via Sport Witness), which includes some interesting comments from intermediary Giuseppe Cannella with regard to Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.
The 26-year-old defender made the move to the Serie A outfit back in 2014 and has since gone on to play 132 games for the club, in which time he has bagged five goals and indeed helped them to the Italian Super Cup crown back in 2014.
And his fine performances in the heart of their backline has attracted vast amounts of interest over Europe in recent times, with Chelsea and Everton reportedly keeping tabs on the Senegal international, but agent Cannella suggests that it was Southampton who made the first move for the 26-year-old back in 2015.
He said: ‘I’m sure that Koulibaly in Sarri’s first year, just like two seasons ago, has the Premier’s eyes on him.
‘I can testify, because of the negotiation, that Southampton was the first club to make an offer to Napoli to take him to the Premier.’
These comments are sure to interest several of our resident Saints fans, many of whom will likely be wondering what might have been had they managed to lure Koulibaly to St Mary’s, especially given that he has since gone on to become one of the most highly-rated defenders in Europe.
Landlord’s verdict: The future of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been speculated upon for many a year now, with several clubs such as Chelsea and Everton linked with his services.
However, it turns out that Southampton expressed the first concrete interest in the 26-year-old back in 2015, but ultimately were unable to get a deal over the line for one reason or another.
And that is sure to frustrate several Saints fans given how well Koulibaly has since performed in Italy, and what with Barcelona reportedly joining the chase for the centre-back, who could cost a reported £62 million, it could well have been financially rewarding for the club as well.
Nonetheless, it’s another transfer that slipped through the net at St Mary’s.
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