By Alex Stevens
Napoli will hold fresh talks with Kalidou Koulibaly in a bid to persuade him to snub Premier League interest and sign a new contract, according to a report.
Sky Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed on his website that there is growing optimism among officials of the Serie A club that Koulibaly will agree fresh terms.
It is said there has already been a positive meeting between club chiefs and the defender’s agent, and further talks are scheduled to take place.
This comes amid heavy interest in the Koulibaly from Everton and Chelsea.
Sport Italia television expert Ifredo Pedulla claimed on his website earlier this week that the Toffees had tabled a stunning £46million bid for the centre-back, 25, that would potentially annihilate the club’s transfer record.
Pedulla, who has 151,000 Twitter followers and a massive Facebook following, claims that Chelsea, Everton’s rivals to land Koulibaly, are not willing to pay more that £37.6million for the defender.
The reported size of Everton’s bid demonstrates Farhad Moshiri’s growing influence at the club after he became a majority shareholder earlier this year.
Koulibaly would become the most expensive player in Everton’s history if the reported offer was accepted, comfortably surpassing £28million record signing Romelu Lukaku.
Koulibaly has been at Napoli for two years since joining from Metz for £6.5million, and has now played 60 times in Serie A.
The defender played 33 times in the Italian top flight in the 2015-16 season as Napoli finished nine points behind Juventus in second.
Ronald Koeman has been active in his search for players since arriving at Goodison Park this summer, but has been unsuccessful in the hunt for the likes of Graziano Pelle and most recently Axel Witsel.