Kalidou Koulibaly's agent has said the player is "very close" to Napoli and that he doesn't think he "would ever betray them and join Juventus."
Bruno Satin represents the Senegal international, and he said on Radio Kiss Kiss that while he didn't think Koulibaly would cross the divide to Juve, there was no ruling out other opportunities (h/t Football Italia):
"Koulibaly to Juve? He's very close to Napoli, to the club and above all the city.
"I don't think he would ever betray them and join Juventus. However, let's not forget that he's a professional footballer so if the possibility is there to play on the most important stages, you listen, even if—I repeat—he's very close to Napoli."
Napoli trail Serie A leaders Juventus by 13 points and are on course to finish second to the Bianconeri for the third time in four seasons. The two teams, from Naples and Turin, respectively, have long shared a rivalry because they are based in northern (Juventus) and southern (Napoli) Italy.
Koulibaly, 27, is arguably Napoli's most prized possession and the source of much transfer discussion, which includes serious attention from Manchester United, per James Robson of the Evening Standard.
Statman Dave recently pointed to the defender's statistics as proof of his impact at Stadio San Paolo:
The rivalry between Juve and Napoli intensified in 2016, when Gonzalo Higuain controversially left the latter to join the former.
Koulibaly moved to Naples from Belgian club Genk in 2014 and has established a big fan following in Italy, where he has a contract with Napoli until the summer of 2023.
Serie A writer David Amoyal recently suggested the centre-back is the most valuable player in Italy's top flight:
David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal
IMO the answer is Koulibaly at this exact moment in time- others have issues/poor form (Dybala/Icardi), have little resale value/huge wages (CR7) or need a bigger sample size (Zaniolo/Piatek).You could make a case for Skriniar too though because of age/ability. Give me your take https://t.co/a0r6jR0OzD
It would likely be an even greater blow to Napoli's fanbase if they were to lose Koulibaly to Juve than it was when Higuain left. The Senegal international joined as a relative unknown and fashioned his career with Napoli, while Higuain was an established star when he arrived from Real Madrid in 2013.
That said, Koulibaly may opt to leave Italy if he does decide to move, having been the victim of racist abuse at Inter Milan in December, per Sky Sports.
He's also been targeted by some supporters of reported admirers Juve this season, per sports writer Adam Digby:
Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis isn't likely to let his world-class talent leave the club easily, but it will please him to know rivals Juventus are an unlikely destination when Koulibaly does depart.