Manchester United are reportedly looking at Kalidou Koulibaly to replace Harry Maguire, with the Senegalese defender available in the summer.
According to Fichajes, Kalidou Koulibaly is a reported target for Manchester United, who want the Senegalese international to replace the out-of-sorts Harry Maguire next season. The towering centre-back could leave Napoli as he enters the last year of his current contract.
In recent weeks, Harry Maguire’s position as one of Manchester United’s leaders has come under increasing threat, with the defender underperforming in multiple games. His high profile errors and lax defending have cost the club valuable points, which could come back to bite the Red Devils in their quest for a top-four finish.
Moreover, there have been rumours of squad unrest, which could cause further problems for the team’s morale. Former striker Dimitar Berbatov asked Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo to resolve their differences, with the two supposed dressing room leaders going through some issues.
Media reports briefly suggested Maguire could also be stripped of the captain’s armband. Those stories were put to bed by interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who continues to back the club captain. However, there remain concerns over his playing style and technical abilities, something the Red Devils may look to address in the summer.
The report states that United might consider replacing Maguire with another similar player, with much more technical stability and command in the defensive third. Kalidou Koulibaly is the player touted to replace the England international next season, with the Senegalese defender reportedly available in the summer.
Signed from Genk in 2014, Kolibaly has been constantly linked with a move away from Napoli for years. However, the Partenopei president, Aurelio De Laurentiis ensured that he stayed put by demanding outrageous sums for the defender.
English clubs, in particular, have been linked with the Senegalese international for many seasons and could finally get a chance to lure him to the Premier League. Everton had already expressed an interest in signing him in January, and now Manchester United have also come into the equation.
According to the report, Manchester United want Koulibaly as a replacement for Maguire in the summer. The defender’s contract at Napoli expires in 2023. The figures quoted are around the €40 million mark, which would be half of the €80 million the Serie A side demanded for their star man not long ago.
Koulibaly, 30, still has plenty to offer and could evaluate his options in the summer. The Senegalese international certainly has the calibre and reputation to replace Maguire and could form a formidable partnership alongside Raphael Varane next season.
It remains to be seen if the news report has any basis for its claim and whether Manchester United are serious about replacing Maguire with Koulibaly in the summer transfer window. In all, the Senegalese defender would be the ideal player to grace the Premier League and solve defensive issues at Old Trafford.