Koulibaly twist forces Man Utd to switch to new £65m target

Kalidou Koulibaly: Wanted by Chelsea coach Conte

Manchester United have been forced to shelve their plans to sign Kalidou Koulibaly – and have instead placed a new name at the top of their list of central defensive targets.

United have long been in the market for a new central defender and the failure to land a number of key targets last summer was known to have frustrated former manager Jose Mourinho.

The club saw two offers for Koulibaly rejected by Napoli in the build-up to the January transfer window, with the Serie A side’s president Auerlio Di Laurentiis confirming he had snubbed a world-record offer.

United have, however, kept a watching brief over Koulibaly and the player was earlier this week named as one of six stars targeted by the club as part of a six-man £350m summer overhaul at Old Trafford.

However, according to a report in the Independent, Napoli remain steadfast in their refusal to sell Koulibaly for any money this summer, while reports in the Italian media suggest the player will not force the issue if the Italian giants oppose his sale.

With that in mind, the Independent claims United will now instead focus their efforts on signing Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan, having already identified him as a potential target last summer.

The Slovakian remains unable to agree terms on a new deal at the San Siro and it’s claimed United see him as a more obtainable target this summer, amid reports a £65m offer could tempt Inter to sell.

That’s despite persistent claims from the defender himself that he has no wish to leave Italy, having given an angry response earlier this year when mentioned as a potential United target.

“You write things that you don’t even know,” Skriniar posted on his Instagram account.

“You are sh***. Now write an article on this.”

United are also keen on Sampdoria defender Joachim Andersen, though the Independent claims he is understood to have agreed a deal to join Tottenham this summer.

United, meanwhile, do appear certain to spend heavily this summer, with the club also linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho on Saturday morning.


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