Solskjaer unmoved over dream Man Utd defensive target

Date published: Friday 22nd January 2021 8:33 - Jonny Whitfield

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd TEAMtalk

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly wants to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who he has had on his radar for ‘some time’.

Koulibaly has attracted attention from across Europe in recent seasons amid his displays in Serie A and the Champions League.

Manchester City showed interest in the last transfer window before opting to sign Ruben Dias. Liverpool, meanwhile, have also reportedly tracked the Senegal international’s progress.

But United have also been mentioned in the past amid their search for a top centre-back partner for Harry Maguire.

According to Marca (10.42 CET), Solskjaer identified Koulibaly as his top defensive target ‘some time’ ago.

The report does not state when the interest began, but adds that it has not waned. Indeed, the Norwegian manager still wants the 29-year-old in his team at Old Trafford.

However, Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso could prove the key stumbling block in a deal – as well as the move’s finances.

Gattuso ‘won’t want’ to lose his top centre-back, who remains under contract until the summer of 2023.

Kalidou Koulibaly TEAMtalk

As previously mentioned, Koulibaly’s fee will prove the other potential barrier to a transfer. United showed reluctance to spend £108million on Jadon Sancho during the summer.

And while Koulibaly would likely cost less than that, he would nevertheless not come cheap.

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis was openly vocal in the summer about the player’s future. He said that he would be willing to lose Koulibaly, but only if clubs paid his €100million fee.

Man Utd reject midfielder enquiries

Meanwhile, United have reportedly rejected proposals from clubs looking to take Donny van de Beek on loan this month.

The midfielder has struggled to settle at United since joining from Ajax in summer 2020.

He cost around £40m, but has not been able to make an instant impact.

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