Pundit Craig Burley has insisted that Manchester United will want to sign Kalidou Koulibaly more than Liverpool because of their problems in defence.
Napoli colossus Koulibaly has become one of the most sought-after centre-backs in European football over the past three seasons, with United and Chelsea among the clubs to have been linked.
Liverpool have also been credited with interest and a recent report claimed that the Reds are in pole position to sign the Senegal international.
However, speaking to ESPN FC (via the Liverpool Echo), Burley insisted that United’s need for a new defensive recruit will be greater.
The futures of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are all uncertain, with the latter two currently out on loan until the end of the season.
“Is Koulibaly a great get for most clubs? Absolutely, he is a fantastic centre-half,” Burley said.
“You have to weigh up the pros and cons. He is going to be 29 this summer. There is a financial situation in terms of transfer fee and wages. Man United need him more.
“They’ve got a good centre-half in [Harry] Maguire and then a couple of centre-halves I’m sure they’d like to get rid of.
“Liverpool have ]Joel] Matip, [Dejan] Lovren and [Joe] Gomez, who is a good young player.
“None of them are at the standard of Koulibaly but they’ve already got one of the world’s greatest centre-half in Virgil van Dijk. Their need for a centre-half is not desperate. They’ve got other positions to improve.
“I’d be surprised if they go out and shell big money on another centre-half when they can spend that money on other positions in the team.”
Liverpool are reportedly keen to strengthen up front and provide fresh motivation for their famed front three, with RB Leipzig Timo Werner reportedly high up on boss Jurgen Klopp’s wish list.
As for potential exits from Anfield, the futures of Roma-linked Lovren and Xherdan Shaqiri, as well as Adam Lallana and Kalidou Koulibaly, are all uncertain.