Claims that Man Utd lodged a bid for a target they preferred to one of their summer signings have been debunked, per a report.
Man Utd signed three veritable superstars in the summer window. Cristiano Ronaldo has already hit the ground running, bagging four goals from his first three matches. The going has been altogether tougher for Jadon Sancho, however.
The England winger is yet to find his feet at Old Trafford and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed he has a lot to learn.
Raphael Varane completes their trio of summer acquisitions. But a recent report from the Sun claimed Napoli colossus Kalidou Koulibaly was in fact their ‘preferred’ choice.
Furthermore, Italian outlet Calciomercato stated Man Utd’s interest was so strong that they were prepared to offer £30m – just £4.1m less than Varane’s eventual price.
However, according to Sport Witness (citing today’s Gazzetta dello Sport) both the Sun and Calciomercato’s claims were off the mark.
They state Napoli’s owners have revealed that ‘no requests arrived’ for Koulibaly amid Man Utd links.
They backed that notion up by saying: ‘this suggests that if the defender is still here, it’s only because no convincing offers have arrived’.
It stands to reason that if Koulibaly was Man Utd’s preferred option, Napoli would have been inundated with a bid given the similarity in costs between Varane and the Senegalese.
Koulibaly’s name has been a frequent source of speculation with English clubs for a number of transfer windows. Links to Liverpool have also appeared with regularity, though now 30, that ship may have sailed.
Indeed, with Varane signed instead, it would appear Koulibaly’s chances of ever moving to Old Trafford are slim to none.
Noble scolds Lingard over Man Utd change
Meanwhile, Mark Noble has revealed he took exception with Jesse Lingard for ‘screaming and diving’ in trying to win Manchester United a penalty against West Ham on Wednesday evening.
The Hammers exacted revenge on United as they knocked them out of the Carabao Cup win a 1-0 win at Old Trafford. And having lost 2-1 to them at the London Stadium on Sunday, the result proved the perfect tonic for the Hammers.
With time running out, Man Utd looked to win a penalty when Lingard took a tumble in the area following an apparent tug from Noble.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Noble admits he ‘told Lingard off’ for the ‘diving and screaming’. Furthermore, he joked that he never tried that sort of thing when playing for West Ham last season.
“That’s football, he dived and I told him off for screaming,” Noble said. “Funnily enough he didn’t really do it at our place but he does it here!”
Noble added: “We had a laugh on the pitch today, I love Jesse. He’s a great character and I’m so pleased he’s come here and getting his chance.
“He’s scored some fantastic goals obviously the one against us was hurtful. But he’s a great lad and he deserves everything he gets.”