Paper Talk: Man Utd leapfrog Liverpool in £39m centre-back raid

Date published: Sunday 16th May 2021 9:20 - Robert McCarthy

Man Utd are in pole position to sign Harry Maguire’s perfect partner in a cut-price deal, while Jose Mourinho wants to bring a maverick Newcastle star to Roma this summer – both in Sunday’s Paper Talk.

MAN UTD IN POLE POSITION FOR KOULIBALY

Manchester United have reportedly moved ahead of Liverpool in their pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly after the Reds “cooled their interest” in the commanding defender.

Napoli star Koulibaly has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, with reports on Sunday claiming that he could be available in a cut-price deal this summer.

United are in the market for a defender to partner club captain Harry Maguire, with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly not considered good enough to drive the Red Devils to a Premier League title.

Real Madrid star Raphael Varane has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, amongst others.

Liverpool are also keen on strengthening their back four after seeing how badly they struggled in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez this season.

However, the Reds have switched their focus to RB Leipzig star Ibrahima Konate instead.

Speaking on Reach PLC’s Transfer Window Podcast, Ian McGarry claims United hold a stronger interest in Koulibaly than Liverpool, while Everton are also keen on the player.

Koulibaly price drop

McGarry states that the 29-year-old could be available for a bargain £38.7million (€45m), half the £77.5m (€90m) Napoli wanted for him last summer.

“Kalidou Koulibaly is most certainly on the market,” McGarry said.

“We have been told by an agent who is very close to Napoli that Aurelio De Laurentis, the chairman and president of Napoli, is willing to take a knockdown price for the defender, given that he is about to turn 30 years old, and will cash in on him.

“He was available for €90m in last summer’s transfer window. But we understand that a fee of around €60m (£51.6m), potentially even as little as €45m would be enough to secure his services.

“Now, we know that Manchester United are interested and also Liverpool, although Liverpool have cooled their interest somewhat.”

The potential arrival of Koulibaly at Old Trafford would appear to give United the perfect centre-back pairing. While Maguire is good in possession and likes to join in the play, Koulibaly is a colossus who thrives on his defensive play.


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MOURINHO WANTS SAINT-MAXIMIN AT ROMA

Allan Saint-Maximin TEAMtalk

Jose Mourinho wants to take Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin to Italy as part of his Roma revolution. (Sun on Sunday)

Manchester City have been told they can have Lionel Messi. However, they will have to pay him £500,000-a-week after tax. (Sun on Sunday)

Edinson Cavani will hit a six-figure jackpot if he is a chart-topper in his second season at Old Trafford. (Sun on Sunday)

Liverpool will say farewell to Turkish centre-back Ozan Kabak at the end of this season – and put their rivals on alert. (Sun on Sunday)

PSG have joined the race to sign Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos. (Sun on Sunday)

Chelsea are locked in a transfer battle with both Milan clubs for Mads Bayer, a midfielder dubbed the ‘next Kevin De Bruyne’, but face difficulties regarding Brexit. (Sunday Express)


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SOLSKJAER AT ODDS OVER POGBA DEAL

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani Roma v Man Utd May 2021

Paul Pogba’s contract situation leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Manchester United board divided. (Sunday Mirror)

Jurgen Klopp has revealed there will be no major Liverpool rebuild – even if the Reds hit the jackpot by qualifying for the Champions League. (Sunday Mirror)

Tammy Abraham’s Chelsea future was plunged into further doubt after being left out of their squad for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Leicester. (Sunday Mirror)

Barcelona are looking to move on 14 players this summer with Philippe Coutinho among those heading for the exits. (Sunday Mirror)

Mason Greenwood is the star benefiting most from Edinson Cavani’s stay at Old Trafford – and it could save Manchester United £150m. (Sunday Mirror)

Zinedine Zidane has told his Real Madrid players that he will be leaving at the end of the season. (Sunday Mirror)

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti and former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri are among those being considered to replace Zidane if he leaves the club. (Sunday Mirror)

AND THE REST FROM PAPER TALK

Arsenal have stepped up their interest in Ryan Bertrand after he was confirmed to be leaving Southampton. (Mail on Sunday)

Leicester City midfielder Daniel Amartey could find himself in hot water after he was filmed throwing Chelsea’s FA Cup final pennant on the ground as he celebrated his side’s historic win at Wembley. (Mail on Sunday)

Liverpool are assessing potential back-up goalkeeper options despite offering Adrian a contract extension. (Mail on Sunday)

Luton striker James Collins is wanted by Middlesbrough, Cardiff City and Bristol City on a free transfer. (Mail on Sunday)

Scott Brown revealed that he decided to quit Celtic last summer. (Scottish Sun)

David Martindale has confirmed Jay Emmanuel-Thomas will join Aberdeen. (Scottish Sun)

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard hailed his invincible champions – and warned suitors they’ll need an army to prise them away. (Sunday Mail)

Ash Taylor has become the first shock casualty of Stephen Glass’s Aberdeen reign. (Sunday Mail)

 

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