Bengaluru, May 15: Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is on top of Manchester United’s shopping list ahead of the summer transfer window which is expected to be a very busy one for the Red Devils.
The Napoli defender, 27, is regarded as one of the best centre-backs on the planet at the moment and has been linked with a host of clubs across Europe. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified the Senegal star as his No. 1 target as he believes that a solid defensive foundations is necessary first and foremost.
But it looks like it will take a record fee to prise him away from the Serie A giants, who are determined to hold on to their prized asset. Liverpool forked out £75m 18 months ago to bring in Virgil van Dijk and make this year's PFA Player of the Year the world’s most expensive defender.
The Red Devils will have to surpass that figure to persuade Napoli to do business. Solskjaer knows his squad needs a massive rebuild after missing out on Champions League football. He has prioritised a new centre-half leader as his main objective along with a full-back. Koulibaly has been a rock for Napoli this campaign and fits the bill perfectly.
The towering 6ft 4in ace has appeared 34 times to help Carlo Ancelotti's side to a second-placed finish in Italy’s top-flight. His manager certainly rates him highly as he insisted his man would be going nowhere this summer.
Ancelotti said this weekend: “The best centre back in the world? I would say so.
“And he can still improve. He is worth €150m (£130m) and he is not available for transfer.
“Koulibaly's contract expires in 2023, in 2021 there's a €150m clause but Napoli do not need to sell, the president does not want to sell and the question doesn't come up.”