Manchester United are reportedly favourites to complete the signing of Senegalese centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who is unlikely to join PSG.
According to a report by French outlet Le Parisien, Manchester United are in pole position in the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly in the summer transfer window. The Senegalese defender, who could cost up to €70 million, was also chased by PSG, who have now pulled out of a move for him.
Koulibaly has developed into one of the best defenders in the world since joining Napoli from KRC Genk in the summer of 2014. Now a mainstay at the back for the Partenopei, he has played a major role in establishing the San Paolo-based club as genuine Serie A title contenders. Now in his sixth season with Napoli, he has racked up more than 250 appearances for the Italian outfit.
The current season, though, has seen the Senegalese international struggle a bit with injuries. And, as the summer transfer window approaches, albeit with an uncertain date, it has been looking increasingly likely that Koulibaly could leave Napoli. Unsurprisingly, long-term suitors Manchester United have been linked with a move.
Manchester United do hold a long-standing interest in Koulibaly, from when Jose Mourinho was still in-charge. The arrival of Harry Maguire has drastically improved United’s performances, especially as the season has wore on. However, there is a feeling that further improvements could be made.
Victor Lindelof has not been consistent enough under the tutelage of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo hardly inspire any confidence in their abilities due to various reasons. Chris Smalling could be sold permanently, although recent reports have suggested that AS Roma’s financial troubles, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, could force them to miss out on him.
If Manchester United do manage to part ways with Smalling, Jones and Rojo, they could do with a centre-back, especially considering the fitness issues that have plagued Eric Bailly. As a result, Koulibaly is a viable target, who now appears to be on his way to Old Trafford.
As per the report, PSG had been interested in signing Koulibaly as well, with sporting director Leonardo hoping to use his good relations with Aurelio De Laurentiis to secure a deal. However, with Napoli set to demand up to €70 million for the Senegalese centre-back, Les Parisiens have pulled out of the race to sign him, clearing the way for Manchester United.
This €70 million valuation lines up with earlier reports that had claimed that Manchester United will sign Koulibaly this summer. It now appears as if the only thing standing between United and a deal for the 28-year-old is a formal bid around the price tag that Napoli have set.
Meanwhile, Liverpool were briefly linked with a move as well, but those links have died down and it appears as if Manchester United are now the favourite to snap Koulibaly up this summer.