Manchester United has reportedly opened negotiations with Napoli for Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly, ahead of a potential £90m move in the January transfer window.

By 90Min
December 09, 2018

Manchester United has reportedly opened negotiations with Napoli for Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly, ahead of a potential £90m move in the January transfer window.

Since moving to Napoli in 2014, Koulibaly has established himself as one of the world's finest defenders. Former manager Maurizio Sarri helped develop the star, and he is now one of the most wanted center backs in Europe.

News of the meeting between United and Napoli comes from The Times, who claim that Jose Mourinho's side are keen to organise a January transfer for the defender. However, they have been quoted a price of over £90m, with Napoli reluctant to allow their star center back to leave the club.

Koulibaly is said to be keen on making the move, even encouraging United to contact the Serie A side.

United's search for a central defender during the summer was well documented, with the club reportedly targeting the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Diego Godin and Jerome Boateng. However, it failed to land any of their primary targets, much to the frustration of Mourinho.

The Portuguese manager is also said to lack confidence in United's willingness to meet Napoli's asking price, with many reports suggesting the Red Devils are reluctant to authorise any expensive deals.

The club is believed to prefer a younger defensive target, meaning it may steer clear of a big money move for 27-year-old Koulibaly.

It has been suggested that United is unimpressed with Mourinho's transfer targets. He was insistent that the club signed Brazilian midfielder Fred during the summer, beating rivals Manchester City to his signature, but he is yet to impress at Old Trafford.

United has suffered greatly with defensive injuries in recent weeks, with the likes of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof forced into periods on the sidelines. It currently sit 6th in the Premier League, having kept just two clean sheets since the start of the season.

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