Jose Mourinho has handed Tottenham the ambitious target of trying to sign his former target at Manchester United, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to a report.
The Portuguese firebrand was sacked by United last December, having often clashed with the club’s owners and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward over their transfer policy and in particular bemoaning the lack of options he had at centre half.
United saw a world-record bid for a defender of £95m rejected by Napoli for Koulibaly in the weeks that proceeded Mourinho’s dismissal, with the story later confirmed by the Serie A giants’ controversial president Aurelio De Laurentiis.
“Mourinho wanted him, we rejected £95million,” De Laurentiis said. “But now [after Mourinho’s sacking] it’s impossibile that he leaves Napoli.”
Mourinho has since returned to football with Tottenham and has made a positive start to the his reign with four wins in his first five matches, including Saturday’s big 5-0 win over Burnley, which the Portuguese described as “the perfect day”.
Despite keeping a first clean sheet of his era in the match, Spurs have still leaked six goals in his first three games and improving his defence has been made a priority, especially given the situations surrounding Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, who could both leave the club in 2020.
As such, reports in Eldesmarque (via Goal) claims that Mourinho has tasked Tottenham with bringing in dream defensive addition in Koulibaly, with the Spanish outlet claiming the club are willing to launch a €100million (£84.1m) offer for the Senegalese powerhouse ahead of the January window.
Whether the link to Koulibaly comes to fruition remains to be seen but it seems the defence is very much an area where Spurs will target in January, with the Tottenham boss also having made initial contact with the agent of an unsettled Juventus defender.