Not Virgil – Liverpool willing to break the bank to beat Everton to £60m ace

Liverpool have joined Everton in the race to sign £60million-rated Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, according to a report.

The Liverpool Echo claim the Senegal international is one of three centre-backs on the target list of manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of the summer window.

It is said that the Merseyside giants have assembled a shortlist comprising of Koulibaly, Southampton’s £50million-rated Virgil van Dijk and Burnley’s Michael Keane, who is likely to cost around £25million.

The Liverpool Echo report that Klopp and the club’s recruitment team regard Koulibaly as being in the same class as Van Dijk.

Keane is regarded as very much a back-up option despite reports on Tuesday that Liverpool have already agreed personal terms with him.

Klopp is targeting a commanding central defender as a priority for the club as preparations are made for a possible Champions League return next season.

Liverpool are third in the Premier League with two matches of their campaign remaining and will secure a top-four finish if they win both of those games against West Ham and Middlesbrough.

The Sun claim Everton and Chelsea are also keen on Koulibaly after both clubs missed out on signing him last summer.

The Premier League duo had bids rejected for him last summer and they will reignite their interest in the forthcoming window for one of the leading players in Serie A.

Liverpool would have too break the bank and obliterate their £35million transfer record to secure the signing of Koulibaly.

Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has made no attempt to hide his ambitions after buying into the club last year and sanctioned spending sprees both last summer and again in January.

He said: “We tried to buy (Koulibaly) of Napoli and they wanted £60 million. It is monopoly money.

“We went right to the asking price, and they decided not to sell.”

Koulibaly began his career at French club Metz in 2010 before he moved to Genk in 2012 and then on to Napoli two years later.

The 16-times Senegal international has been a mainstay of the Serie A big hitters in the last three seasons, making 84 appearances in all competitions.

He has played 34 matches this season, all of which he has started, and been a key figure for the country’s third-placed team.