Manchester United are reportedly said to hold the advantage in the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.
The Senegal international is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the world and he has built most of the reputation while playing for the Naples outfit.
According to La Repubblica, Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis may seek to sanction the sale of Koulibaly, particularly if the club fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The same publication cites that United, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are all interested in the centre-back but the former are leading the race and are prepared to pay around £74m for his services.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer landed the signature of Harry Maguire in a £80m move last summer and the England international has formed a good partnership with Victor Lindelof at the heart of the defence.
Behind them, the likes of Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe have provided the back-up and there does not appear the necessity to recruit another central defender for next season.
However, Sky Sports’ James Cooper has recently claimed that United are prioritising a new centre-back and it definitely won’t be a surprise, if Koulibaly is the prime transfer target.
United have held a long-term interest in the former Genk man and they failed with a club-record £95m bid for the 28-year-old when Jose Mourinho was still in-charge of the club.
Meanwhile, Solskjaer reportedly regards Koulibaly as one of the top three defenders in the world and the Norwegian would surely take up the opportunity to lure the French-born ace to Old Trafford.
The only downside of the move could be the player’s age. Koulibaly will turn 29 by June and Solskjaer may be able to depend on him for three or four seasons after which he could experience a decline.