Man Utd were reportedly willing to splash out €103m on Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, but the Italian giants have no interest in selling him.
The 27-year-old has established himself as one of the finest centre-halves in Europe, forming a fundamental part of the Napoli backline ever since arriving from Genk in 2014.
He’s now made 174 appearances for the Serie A outfit, providing real solidity at the back with his overall defensive qualities as well as being able to build out from the back with his composure and quality on the ball.
In turn, he would arguably be a perfect fit for the Premier League given his physicality, pace and class in possession, and so it’s no real surprise that Calciomercato, via the paper edition of Corriere dello Sport, suggest that Man Utd had a transfer war chest of €103m (£91.4m) in mind with Jose Mourinho keen to sign him.
If accurate, that would require the club to break their previous transfer record which was the £89m signing of Paul Pogba in 2016, as noted by Goal.com, while it would certainly break their transfer record for the most expensive defender ever signed which is currently held by Victor Lindelof at €35m, as per The Telegraph.
However, it’s added that Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has no interest in losing a pillar of the current side, and so it looks as though any interest in his prized asset will be rejected even if it’s a figure close to the one mentioned above.
Having conceded 21 goals in just 13 Premier League games so far this season, there’s no denying that United need to strengthen their defence and shore things up at the back.
Koulibaly would certainly help do that, as he has also gained plenty of experience at the highest level in Europe now too.
Nevertheless, it sounds as though despite the whopping fee touted in the report, it won’t be enough to convince Napoli to sell one of their most important players as Carlo Ancelotti looks to somehow end the domination enjoyed by Juventus in Serie A in recent years.