Thursday October 22 2020
Giuntoli: 'Keeping Koulibaly not difficult'

Cristiano Giuntoli confirms Napoli want to go all the way in the Europa League, are discussing a new Gennaro Gattuso contract and keeping Kalidou Koulibaly was ‘tougher in previous years.’

The Europa League group phase opener with AZ Alkmaar kicks off at 17.55 UK time (16.55 GMT), click here for the line-ups and LIVEBLOG.

“It’s a competition we care about and we fought so hard to get here via the Coppa Italia victory, so now we want to go as far as possible,” the director told Sky Sport Italia.

While Victor Osimhen cost €50m plus a series of bonuses, add-ons and youth players for a total €80m, was the biggest summer coup for Napoli keeping hold of Koulibaly during Manchester City pressure?

“We thought Osimhen could give us a big hand and we are pleased with how he’s doing so far.

“It was tougher to keep Koulibaly in previous transfer sessions, to be honest. There wasn’t much money going around on the transfer market, the lad realised it too, so with three years on his contract remaining, he was more than happy to stay and we were very happy to keep him.”

AZ Alkmaar almost didn’t make the trip to Naples due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

“There were some concerns and worries, but we intend to go forward and continue following all the rules, as always. We hope to do well and emerge ‘unscathed’ from this game too.”

Considering his remarkable results, is coach Gattuso discussing a new contract?

“We are in sync with Rino, so he will certainly remain at Napoli. We’ll see later on in what terms and the timing. We are talking about it, we both want to go forward together and will surely find an agreement.”