We have already discussed reports this morning of two centre-backs linked with a summer move to Manchester United – Sven Botman and Cristian Romero – but they are by no means the only ones.
The list of names linked to the Red Devils is growing and includes Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, Villareal’s Paul Torres, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Lille’s Sven Botman, Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Atalanta’s Cristian Romero.
And while Atalanta could be challenging United for Botman to replace Romero if their star were to go somewhere else, a similar story is emerging involving Napoli and Villareal.
Ian McGarry from The Transfer Window Podcast (via The Express) says that this could finally be the time for Koulibaly to move on, with United inevitably the first name to be linked as a potential destination.
‘”Kalidou Koulibaly is most certainly on the market,” McGarry said.
‘”We have been told by an agent who is very close to Napoli that Aurelio De Laurentis, the chairman and president of Napoli, is willing to take a knockdown price for the defender, given that he is about to turn 30 years old, and will cash in on him.
‘”He was available for €90m in last summer’s transfer window but we understand that a fee of around €60m (£51.6m), potentially even as little as €45m would be enough to secure his services.
‘”Now, we know that Manchester United are interested and also Liverpool, although Liverpool have cooled their interest somewhat.”’
Elsewhere Gazetta dello Sport (via ESPN) claim that Napoli are already looking to replace the big man and have identified another United target, Villareal’s Pau Torres, as their top target.
‘Manchester United … are also keen to land the defender. Though United’s interest could hinge on whether they can tempt Raphael Varane to move to Manchester from Real Madrid,’ ESPN notes.
It must be said that the source of the Koulibaly story – The Transfer Window Podcast – is one that The Peoples Person does not always find 100% reliable but whatever the case, it is certainly gearing up to be a very busy window for centre backs, with United seemingly involved in a number of complicated negotiations and discussions across all the major European leagues.