May 19, 2020
Manchester United are reportedly reviving their interest in Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to strengthen his defence this summer, despite bringing in Harry Maguire for £80 million last summer. Only yesterday, United were linked to Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan.
United have been a long-term admirer of the 28-year-old and were linked with him last summer and the summer before, a time where Toby Alderweireld was also linked to the Old Trafford club and a time whereby United desperately needed a new commanding central defender – conceding 54 goals in the Premier League alone that season.
Since signing from Genk in the summer of 2014 on a five-year contract, Koulibaly has become one of the best defenders in the Serie A. There has been a suggestion that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was interested in the Senegalese defender, partnering him with Virgil van Dijk at the current Premier League leaders.
Newcastle United have also been linked to the player, but their change of ownership will need to be ratified before they even think about signing any players, so for now, that move seems to be just speculation. It was suggested that United once made an £89 million move for Koulibaly, although this has not been verified as being correct.
The coronavirus pandemic, which suspended world football in mid-march, seeing only the Bundesliga return in Europe so far, will cause many financial repercussions and this could affect player’s values ahead of the next transfer window opening, whenever it may be. It is suggested that Koulibaly could be available for £70 million.
Solskjaer could be ready to bring the player to the Theatre of Dreams, despite needing strengthening in the attack, in the form of a striker and a right-winger, but with doubts on Victor Lindelof’s suitability at the club and the fact that Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and even Marcos Rojo could be directed out the Old Trafford exit, reinforcements will be required.
During the 2019/20 season, until it was suspended, Koulibaly made a total of 21 appearances at Napoli, playing 1,757 minutes of football. Clubs interested in signing the Senegalese defender have reportedly been altered that the 28-year-old, who will turn 29 next month, is ready to leave the Italian club after six years to service there.
Paris Saint-Germain hold an interest in the player but it has also been reported that a move to the Premier League wold be more appealing for the player – you cannot blame him really as it really is one of the best leagues in the world. Napoli may try to replace him with Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, who was once on United’s radar.
This summer, despite the after effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Solskjaer and United will be seeking to add to their rebuild which has so far seen Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes arrived at the Theatre of Dreams. United will be expected to challenge for the Premier League title sooner rather than later.