Manchester United reportedly failed in their bid to sign Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, with suggestions being it was prior to the eventual signing of Raphael Varane.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was said to have set out last summer targetting three positions- a defensive midfielder, a centre-back, and a right-winger.
He got his wish in the latter two positions with Varane and Jadon Sancho sensationally joining during the transfer window.
The former Real Madrid man, in particular, was a surprise capture and one that many fans celebrated.
However, it seems Solskjaer had another name in mind before things worked out as pleasantly as they did.
According to Napoli Magazine, Antonio Giordano, a journalist for Corriere dello Sport, said: “We talk about it on Tuesday. De Laurentiis had the strength to refuse all the offers that arrived for the big names, in particular for Koulibaly.
“Manchester United were ready to offer 35 million euros, but the patron made it known that Kalidou would not have moved for that amount.”
Given how Koulibaly had bigger price tags in the past, with some sections of the media claiming it was closer to £80m, it’s no real surprise Napoli turned down a €35m bid from United.
Given he’s now 30 years old, perhaps it was a reasonable offer from Solskjaer’s side, and given how they ended up with a younger and more talented centre-back in Varane, it’d be safe to say it all worked out in the end.
The sensational Frenchman has settled in brilliantly to his new team and is oozing class, proving he’s needed little time to adjust to his new surroundings.
Varane is obviously Harry Maguire’s new partner in the middle of the defence and although it’s early days, it looks as though they do in fact complement one another.
It seems Solskjaer had a particular profile in mind, however- an experienced leader to help solidify his defence.