Manchester United appear to have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly, with Napoli ready to accept an offer for the centre-back.
The Red Devils have been chasing the Senegal international for more than two years, but have so far failed with any moves to sign the powerful defender.
It has been previously been reported that United would need to pay his £127million release clause to land the 28-year-old, but the asking price from club president Aurelio De Laurentiis now stands at a more reasonable £85m, according to Corrie Dello Sport via SportWitness.
The Italian newspaper reports that the valuation is so firm that De Laurentiis ‘will not even answer the phone for anything less’.
Koulibaly is a massive fan favourite after six impressive years in Naples, but a recent report suggested that the player had already bought a £3.4million apartment in Paris ahead of a proposed move to PSG.
The French giants want Koulibaly to replace veteran star Thiago Silva, who is nearing the end of his contract, with PSG’s director Leonardo said to have already held talks with the player’s agent – with the offer of a huge four-year £10.2million contract on the table.
But United are still in the hunt and are ready to offer lucrative terms of their own, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to pair Koulibaly with Harry Maguire in what he sees as a dream Old Trafford partnership.
United would have to act quickly to beat PSG to the punch, however, while Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City are also believed to be monitoring the player’s situation.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid kingpin Toni Kroos missed the midweek Champions League defeat to Manchester City and speculation is already afoot.
The 30-year-old Germany midfielder, who has been continually linked with a move to Old Trafford, has made 31 appearances this season in all competitions, but he was strangely left on the bench at the Bernabeu and didn’t get on.
There has been no explanation for Kroos’ absence with Marca reporting that he has not been carrying an injury and has been one of Los Blancos’ best players for years.
Former Madrid player and pundit Alvaro Benito claims there is something “going on” with the player after he didn’t get the call from the bench by Zinedine Zidane. Read more…