Manchester United have reportedly had a €103 million bid rejected by Napoli for their star Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly

According to a report by Italian publication Corriere dello Sport, Manchester United have been rebuffed in pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly for a second time. The Premier League heavyweights had tabled an offer worth €103 million for the 27-year-old, with Napoli unwilling to let go of their star defender.

Koulibaly has progressed leaps and bounds since joining Napoli from KRC Genk in the summer of 2014. The player’s colossal showings at the back have played a key role in the Partenopei’s rise in recent seasons, and he is now widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the world.

Unsurprisingly, Koulibaly has been an ever present for Napoli despite their managerial change in the summer. With the player only going from strength to strength, interest in him from some of the top clubs in the world is refusing to go away. At present, Manchester United are his most serious suitors.

Napoli are keeping a tight hold of their star defender. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Napoli are keeping a tight hold of their star defender. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

That Manchester United are willing to splash the big bucks for a centre-back has become all too well known, with Jose Mourinho unhappy with most of his current options. While Victor Lindelof seems to have earned the manager’s faith, the rest of the central defenders have largely flattered to deceive.

The Red Devils have thus, been linked with a number of top class centre-backs for several months, although any move has failed to materialise thus far. But, heading into the January transfer window, Manchester United are resolute in backing Mourinho with the big bucks in order to bolster their squad.

To that end, Koulibaly has emerged as one of their top targets in recent weeks. But, Manchester United have only faced disappointment in pursuit of the player, with Napoli already rejecting their initial bid last month. The woes have continued upon the turn of the month as well, with the Serie A outfit now knocking back a €103 million bid.

Napoli are believed to have rejected a similar offer in the summer as well, and their position has only strengthened after the defender signed a long-term deal with them in September. With close to five years still remaining on his contract, swooping Koulibaly away from San Paolo will be a tall order, especially if the Italians are ready to reject an offer worth €103 million.

What is certain is that Koulibaly will only leave Napoli for a world record sum for a centre-back, that too if the Partenopei are open to parting ways with him. It now remains to be seen if Manchester United can convince the Italian heavyweights to sell their star defender, or if they are forced to turn their attention elsewhere.