Manchester United have launched a bid for Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports in Italy. The Senegal international has been linked with the Red Devils for several years now. And though the club want to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, it seems like he isn’t their only target.
Manchester United want to sign a new defender this summer.
They believe Harry Maguire needs somebody world-class to go alongside him, amid doubts over whether Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are good enough.
As things stand, all signs point to United signing Varane from Real Madrid. He’s their top target and, what’s more, is it looks like the player wants to come.
But that hasn’t stopped Gazzetta dello Sport from claiming the Red Devils have launched a £25million bid for Koulibaly.
It’s claimed that it was brought to Napoli’s door on behalf of the player’s agent, Fali Ramadani.
The Serie A giants, like many other clubs from around the world, have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
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Yet while Napoli are open to selling their best players for the right price, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has made it clear there will be no bargains.
Koulibaly is said to be angry at the club these days, with the publication saying he’s had his bags ready to leave for 18 months.
Manchester City bid for him last year but, in the end, settled for signing Ruben Dias from Benfica instead.
And whether United go higher in their efforts to bring Koulibaly from Old Trafford is something only time will tell, especially with Varane currently being their priority.
It was reported last year that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt the 30-year-old was one of the best defenders in world football, alongside Maguire and Virgil van Dijk.
So it seems there is some credence to their interest, even if a deal does seem rather ambitious.
Koulibaly and Varane aren’t the only two players on their radar, either, with Solskjaer eyeing reinforcements in other departments as well.
Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton have already touched down from Borussia Dortmund and Aston Villa respectively.
But United also want signings at right-back and central midfield as they look to win the Premier League for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
For the former, Kieran Trippier remains of interest.
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And when it comes to boosting their midfield options, the likes of Declan Rice, Eduardo Camavinga and Saul Niguez have all been linked.
Meanwhile, speaking after United’s 2-1 victory over Derby on Sunday, Solskjaer opened up on the club’s transfer business.
And he admitted he was hopeful their deal for Sancho will be wrapped up and announced this week.
“From what I understand only paperwork, small little details, hopefully we can announce something,” he said.
“Let’s get all the paperwork done and get him over the line and then I can say what I truly feel about the player.”
On the result itself, he then added: “The first game is always difficult, it’s the first test of 45 minutes, big pitch, took a bit of time to get going, loads of young players getting their chance to play with some of the first-team ones.
“Tom [Heaton] was very positive, he’s here to give the other ones a little bit of a challenge as well. He’s conducted himself so well throughout his career. I was just on the end of my career when he was coming up, so I’m so happy to have him.
“We’ve got a young team, a young squad, to have players like him come in, Granty stayed on, Nemanja and Jesse, those two played really well.
“Tom wants to play as well, I think he’s been unlucky with an injury last season.
“I think he would have been in the England squad if not. Of course, he’s got ambitions.”