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Manchester United interested in signing Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli; £70m sought for Senegal international

Manchester United have shown an interest in Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports in Italy. Last week, with United seemingly unlikely to agree on a deal with Tottenham Hotspur for Toby Alderweireld, being that United and Spurs’ valuation is around £20 million apart with the North London club asking for £75 million for the 29-year-old Belgian, it was reported that United had seven other options this summer, but that a deal to sign any would be the most complicated transfer this summer.

One of the names on that short list was Koulibaly, a 26-year-old defender who will be playing in the FIFA World Cup this summer for Senegal. TMW in Italy has reported that United have shown an interest in the player and despite him arriving from Genk four years ago for around £6.5 million, the club from Naples would be seeking a fee of around £70 million for the player if he is to leave the club this summer. With the Senegalese international turning 27 in just a matter of days and Alderweireld turning 30 in March next year, Koulibaly would represent the better deal.

With the Senegalese international turning 27 in just a matter of days and Alderweireld turning 30 in March next year, Koulibaly would represent the better deal when you cross-examine the numbers United are being asked for in order to strengthen their back line this summer. That will always be the case though. In terms of supply and demand, if the supply is not so fluid but the demand is high, fees will rise and prices will need to be paid. This is the business football has turned into.

Over the last two summer’s, United have brought in Eric Bailly for £30 million and Victor Lindelof for just shy of £31 million. Bailly has been a good signing for United, despite suffering from a fair few injuries and Lindelof, despite the lack of playing time, has yet to perform at the club. It was expected that both would become a defensive partnership capable of keeping their heads at the back with United sometimes panicking and committing some sloppy defending, which has happened a lot during the past season.

Jose Mourinho will be serious about a new central defender this summer and with eight options reportedly on the list, he will be seeking that Ed Woodward and United get a deal across the line to add to Diogo Dalot, who already signed for the club and Brazilian midfielder Fred, whose move to United has been agreed and is subject to that transfer being completed, presumably because of the player needing a work permit. The fact that Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have not maintained a strong bond at the back tells everyone that a new addition is needed.

Koulibaly has been linked to Chelsea for most of the summer so far, but as we have seen in the past few weeks alone, just because a player is linked to a club does not mean they are signing for the said club. Chelsea are in a position whereby their management situation still needs to be sorted and for a player coming in unless he knows something we do not, it could be a bad situation to get themselves into. Perhaps Koulibaly will be reunited with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea this summer.

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