Manchester United are prepared to pay up to €70m for Kalidou Koulibaly, after reports revealed Napoli are ready to sell the centre-back.
Koulibaly has become one of the strongest defenders in the world during his time in Naples. However, after six years there, it may be time to move on.
Man Utd have been following the Senegalese centre-back for a long time. Napoli’s price demands have always been a problem, though.
In the current climate, however, United may have a better chance to land their perfect partner for Harry Maguire at the back. Napoli are under pressure to raise funds, meaning they can no longer demand such a high fee for Koulibaly.
According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Napoli still want around €100m for Koulibaly. United are ready to reignite their interest, but their limit is the €70m they have put on the table.
Even though Napoli president Aurelio Di Laurentiis does not want to let Koulibaly leave on the cheap, he is aware of a mutual desire between player and selling club to move on.
In fact, the Italian side’s chief said recently: “Kalidou is a great person, I would be terribly sad to lose him. But there is a time for everything, even to move apart.”
Therefore, the Italian newspaper says Napoli may have to accept United’s €70m bid if no further talks take place. It’s a figure that “cannot be refused”, according to Gazzetta.
Hence, Koulibaly’s future may finally be in the Premier League. And if United capture his signature, it would be a blow for their two biggest rivals.
Manchester City and Liverpool are also both admirers of Koulibaly. City in particular seem especially keen on the 29-year-old.
Defence was a problematic area for Pep Guardiola’s side in 2019-20, following the departure of Vincent Kompany. They have since strengthened by signing Nathan Ake, but could take things further by adding Koulibaly – whom they would be willing to offer a “substantial salary”.
The report from Gazzetta says nothing of their interest, though. That would potentially leave United as the sole suitor for the French-born defender.
Koulibaly made 34 appearances in all competitions for Napoli this season. His contract expires in 2023