By Wayne Veysey

9th Oct, 2021 | 7:45am

Sources: Newcastle make Koulibaly top target as £89m valuation tumbles

Newcastle United plan to make Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly their first marquee signing, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The club are preparing for a huge assault on the transfer market next year following the completion of the Saudi-led takeover.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that top of the club’s target list will be Koulibaly, who is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the game.

The Senegal international is seen by those advising the new board as an A-grade defensive leader capable of transforming the back line.

Newcastle could begin what is expected to be a spending spree by recruiting two top-class centre-backs.

Koulibaly turned 30 in June and will have little sell-on value.

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But he is regarded as capable of being prised from Napoli, as his contract there expires in the summer of 2023.

It was reported by the Mail last year that Napoli valued their prize asset at £89million amid interest from the likes of Man United.

However, his price has now tumbled from that high point and he can be lured from Italy for a far smaller fee.

Koulibaly was also a target for Everton earlier this year before their spending was reined in by financial fair play restrictions.

The defender has spent the last seven years at Napoli after signing from Belgian club Genk in 2014.

He has started and played every minute of the Italian club’s seven Serie A matches this season as well as both of their Europa League games.

In other news, ex-Liverpool chief who discovered Sterling set to open talks with Newcastle United.