Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly reportedly believed a transfer to Manchester City this summer was certain to happen.
Koulibaly was heavily linked with a move to the Emirates with City boss Pep Guardiola having been keen to strengthen his defence.
In the end a move never materialised with Guardiola instead signing Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias from Bournemouth and Benfica respectively.
It was reported that a deal for Koulibaly was tough to do as City were not pleased with Napoli from a previous failure over a move for Jorginho.
Though Corriere dello Sport claim Koulibaly had been ‘certain’ of making the move to Premier League giants City this summer.
A report adds that Koulibaly was willing to stay at Napoli and his agents then met with Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis to discuss a potential contract extension.
Manchester City chief football operations officer Omar Berrada has said that Koulibaly was never considered by Guardiola’s side.
He told The Athletic: “The truth is, we never were in negotiations with his club at all about him.
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“It was very interesting to see the amount of noise that was coming out from certain media outlets and social media.
“I smiled because there were certain instances where people were reporting that the deal was agreed, done, about to happen, he was going to be announced in a few days, when we were never in touch at all with Napoli about him.
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“He’s definitely a top, top player, so some consideration was given to him, but really within some parameters that were very clear to us — and those parameters never came into play, so he was never really considered in that sense.
“I don’t think we overpaid for Dias at all. We looked at multiple candidates, top centre-backs in Europe, and this was by far the best valuation, once you consider age, experience, current talent and future potential.
“He was by far our No.1 target in that sense. Some of the valuations we were given for other players were a lot higher.”
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