Cannavaro: ‘With Manolas-Koulibaly…’

Fabio Cannavaro believes Kostas Manolas and Kalidou Koulibaly could allow Napoli “to go all the way in the Champions League.”

Manolas appears to have made his choice, even with interest from Juventus and Milan, and Sky Sport Italia report Amadou Diawara has accepted a move to Roma as part of the €36m deal.

“If Napoli really want a step up in quality, they need to do it with Manolas,” 2006 Ballon d’Or winner Cannavaro told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The Greece international in a partnership with Koulibaly would be exceptional. They both know how to defend deep or higher up the pitch, from close quarters or when forwards run at them. They’re excellent in one-on-one situations.

“With two players like that, you can afford to commit more men in attack and create better scoring opportunities.

“The big clubs with centre-backs who have these characteristics can go all the way in the Champions League. I’m talking about Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane at Real Madrid, while Ajax came so close with Matthijs de Ligt.”