Manchester United have been dealt a transfer blow after Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti insisted Kalidou Koulibaly will not be sold this summer.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed a superb individual campaign at the Stadio San Paolo, with 36 appearances under his belt across all competitions.
The Senegalese superstar has established himself as one of the best defenders in Europe since his 2014 switch to Napoli from Genk, attracting a number of high profile potential suitors in the process.
AOL reports that Man United have been strongly linked with Koulibaly for months, but Ancelotti has warned all interested parties off of his talismanic centre-back.
Speaking ahead of Napoli’s Europa League quarter-final tie against Arsenal on Thursday night, the Italian boss praised Koulibaly and insisted he is worth an astounding €150 million in the current market – as per AOL.
“The best centre-back in the world? I would say so,” Ancelotti told Tuttosport, as AOL reports. “And he can still improve. He is worth €150m and he is not available for transfer.
“Koulibaly’s contract expires in 2023, in 2021 there’s a €150m clause but Napoli do not need to sell, the president [Aurelio De Laurentiis] does not want to sell and the question doesn’t come up.”
This latest news will surely come as a huge blow to United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is desperate to bring in high-quality defensive reinforcements at the end of the season.
The Red Devils are destined to finish the current campaign without a trophy and much has been made of their shaky set-up at the back, with the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly receiving plenty of criticism.
Koulibaly is exactly the kind of player United need – a strong, determined leader capable of raising the level of those around him – but for now, it seems he will be remaining in Naples for at least one more year.
Solskjaer might have to start looking at alternative targets, but this particular story could yet have a few more twists and turns with the transfer window set to reopen again at the end of May.