Even though the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be felt long into the future, one Italian club are standing firm on their valuation of one of their players.
According to Sky Sports Italy and cited by the Daily Mail, Manchester United have made a bid of £71m for Kalidou Koulibaly, but Napoli will not lower their £89m asking price for the powerhouse centre-back.
That’s a dangerous game to play at this point, particularly if the Partnopei don’t qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Currently in a distant sixth position, and with the clubs above them all playing well prior to the lockdown, there’s certainly no guarantee that Gennaro Gattuso’s side will make the cut for Europe’s premier competition in 2020/21.
That being the case, it could be assumed that Koulibaly will make it plain he wants to move elsewhere, and in so doing, he hands the initiative in negotiations to any potential buyers, who the Daily Mail note also includes Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.
It’s easy to understand why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would like to see Koulibaly line up alongside Harry Maguire.
His physical presence and sheer size is generally enough to keep him out of trouble, whilst he’s not given enough credit for his distribution and timing in the tackle.
At 28, he’s in his footballing prime and providing he stays injury free will be able to play for a good few seasons yet at the highest level.