Manchester United may be the last club in the running to sign Napoli’s highly-rated Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports in France.
We have been chasing the 6’2″ centre-back for a while, but the Senegalese international has remained in southern Italy throughout.
Media reports over the months have previously suggested that we would face stiff competition from both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as some other clubs being interested in the 28-year-old.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic played havoc to the football world. The French and Dutch top flights were cancelled in April, whilst the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A are all rushing around to try get their leagues restarted by mid-June. Any resumption would see games played out in front of empty stadiums. This and potential losses in television money will jeopardise this summer’s transfer window with the potential of many clubs also going bust.
Even the wealth Paris Saint-Germain have been hit hard by the current situation, with Le Parisien reporting that the French giants will be prioritising the purchase of Mauro Icardi and replacements for full-backs Thomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa, who are set to leave when their contracts expire next month. Icardi had been on loan from Internazionale during the 2019-20 campaign.
The French outlet say:
“The Napoli defender, whose market value fluctuates between €50 and €70 million (£44-£62m), must continue his career in England where his name is widely linked with Manchester United.”
During the years that Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked to Manchester United, Napoli have been looking for £100 million and the two clubs have not been able to agree on a deal.
However, Napoli were struggling to qualify for the Champions League before Serie A was suspended in mid-March, nine points behind Atalanta in fourth with 12 games to play. Failing to qualify for next season’s competition and financial losses due to the coronavirus could force Napoli to cash in on their star defender.
Manchester United aren’t in a position to splash out £100 million ourselves, but if Le Parisien is correct in their £44 million valuation of Koulibaly, we may be very tempted to end the long chase and land the talented star this summer.
Our chase for Kalidou Koulibaly would be aided if we were to qualify for next season’s Champions League. The Premier League are keen to complete the 2019-20 campaign and it seems the division may be restarted in mid-June. If so, we have nine games to overturn a three-point deficit on Chelsea in fourth.