Manchester United are reportedly set to target Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly as an alternative to primary target Harry Maguire.

According to a report by Daily Mail, Manchester United have reignited their interest in Kalidou Koulibaly. The Premier League heavyweights are plotting a move for the Napoli superstar as a contingency for Harry Maguire, in case they are unable to sign their top target from Leicester City.

That Manchester United are in the market for a centre-back this summer is common knowledge by now. Victor Lindelof was the only central defender who managed to give a good account of himself in the season gone by and the need to sign a top class player to partner him is imperative.

The deal for Maguire is not set in stone yet. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

The deal for Maguire is not set in stone yet. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Chris Smalling may be about to start his tenth season at Old Trafford. But, the Englishman has never been able to fully convince, a fact that also holds true for Phil Jones. Meanwhile, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo’s injury prone natures have turned them into unreliable figures for Manchester United.

Axel Tuanzebe is full of promise, but might not be thrust into a regular role just yet. So, it is plainly evident why a centre-back is top priority for Manchester United this summer. To that end, Harry Maguire has been seen as the ideal solution.

In fact, recent reports have suggested that Manchester United have inched closer to completing an £80 million move for the English international. But, the Premier League heavyweights do have a contingency plan in place, if a move for Maguire runs into troubled waters, with Kalidou Koulibaly seen as a viable alternative.

Koulibaly has gone on to establish himself as one of the best centre-backs on display in Serie A during his time with Napoli. But, having been constantly subjected to racist chants by crowds in various stadiums, the player has been on the edge at times.

Back on Manchester United's radar. (Photo by Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty Images)

Back on Manchester United’s radar. (Photo by Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty Images)

The interest in Koulibaly is not new, with the Senegalese defender reportedly being on the radar of Manchester United for well over a year now. But, with no Champions League football on offer, it was always going to be difficult to sign the 28-year-old.

Koulibaly though, only remains a backup option, in the case that Manchester United are unable to agree an acceptable transfer fee with Leicester for Maguire. Indeed, Daily Mail suggest that the Foxes are set to demand over £80 million for their star defender, which could threaten to put the brakes on United’s pursuit.

In Koulibaly though, the Red Devils have a top class alternative, although there are no guarantees that with around two weeks left for the summer transfer window to slam shut in England, the deal could be completed swiftly. For now, Maguire remains the key target for Manchester United and it remains to be seen if they can secure the services of the Englishman anytime soon.

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