Manchester United could be the last club standing in the race to sign Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Le Parisien.
The race for Koulibaly’s signature has been reported as mainly a three horse race between United, neighbours Manchester City and French giants Paris St Germain. PSG were believed to be leading that race and it had been reported that the Senegalese ‘acquired a duplex apartment in the 15th arrondissement, with an incredible roof terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower. He imagined that he would be wearing the Paris jersey and always left that door open.’
But now, according to the French outlet, PSG cannot afford to go through with the deal. Due to the current financial crisis, the club is prioritising the purchase of Mauro Icardi, who has been on loan in the French capital this season from Inter Milan, and replacements for Thomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa, who are set to leave at the end of the season.
‘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’ Le Parisien notes.
Koulibaly has been on the Red Devils’ wish list for four years but Napoli’s non-negotiable £100 million asking price has scuppered all attempts to sign him.
It was reported that United offered a whopping £94 million for Koulibaly in 2018 but it was turned down flat by Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis.
However, with the Italian side struggling to qualify for the Champions League, the Senegalese’s salary of £6 million a year is reported to be ‘unsustainable’ for the Italian side and at 29 years of age, which he reaches on June 20th, it could be the club’s last chance to cash in on the world class centre back.
As for the Red Devils, having paid £80 million for Harry Maguire last summer it is highly unlikely that they will approach that kind of figure for another centre back at this stage, particularly one just a year shy of his 30th birthday. But at that fluctuating value of £44 million that Le Parisien mentions, they may be very seriously tempted and the four year wait to land their target may soon be over.
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