Manchester United have reportedly been told to cough up £90 million to land former Chelsea target Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in January.

According to a report by The Times, Napoli have set their price tag for in-demand defender Kalidou Koulibaly. The Serie A giants are set to demand £90 million in exchange for the former Chelsea target, who is being heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, in the hopes of warding off his suitors.

Koulibaly has evolved into one of the best defenders in the world since joining Napoli from KRC Genk in the summer of 2014. The 27-year-old, who is now at the peak of his powers, is a mainstay at the back for the Partenopei, who have built their recent Serie A title challenge on the back of several of his colossal performances.

But, his exploits have been noticed by a gamut of top clubs across Europe, including Chelsea and Barcelona. Manchester United though, are the ones showing the most serious of interests in the player at the present moment.

Jose Mourinho has been intent on making reinforcements at the heart of the defence ever since the turn of the year. The Manchester United manager even had a list of targets for the club to sign in the summer transfer window, only to be disappointed by the hierarchy.

What does the future hold for Koulibaly? (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

What does the future hold for Koulibaly? (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

However, heading into the January transfer window, it is believed that Manchester United could be ready to back the manager with the required funds to solidify his squad. Koulibaly has thus, emerged as a viable target, and has been targeted by the Premier League heavyweights.

However, the Red Devils’ pursuit of the former Chelsea target is set to be long drawn out, with Napoli unwilling to part ways with their prized asset. That Koulibaly had signed a new long-term deal with the Partenopei earlier this season has also heightened his valuation.

The report suggests that Napoli would be willing to do business if a club shells out £90 million in exchange for the 27-year-old. While the price would shatter the transfer record for a defender, the figure mentioned in the report is curious, with recent reports claiming that Manchester United were rebuffed in their attempts to sign Koulibaly for a similar sum.

Taking stock of all the speculation surrounding the player’s future recently, it is clear that either of the two rumours are untrue. Additionally, it could also be that Napoli have merely slapped the price tag in order to ward off most suitors and would not sell the former Chelsea target for any amount.

What is certain is that Koulibaly will only be allowed to leave Napoli for a world record transfer for a defender. It now remains to be seen if Manchester United can do business with the Serie A side for the £90 million valuation in January, or if he ends up staying put at San Paolo.