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Real Madrid plot move for Napoli defender Koulibaly

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly

Bengaluru, May 27: Real Madrid have made a £79million bid for long-term Manchester United target Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports in Italy and Spain.

But the good news for the Red Devils is that Napoli are understood to have rejected the initial offer immediately.

According to reports in Italy, the Italian club do not need to sell and are unwilling to budge unless a foreign team meets the defender's £132m release clause.

Real may go in with an increased offer to try and convince Napoli to sell. And it means Manchester United will need to act fast if they want to get a deal done with the Senegalese international.

He was a target for former Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho but Ed Woodward could not get a deal done. However, reports this week suggested the Red Devils had also had a bid of their own rejected for a whopping £95m.

And now they face competition for the player named Serie A Defender of the Year this season as Real Madrid look to strengthen up their leaky defence.

Koulibaly, 27, is under contract until 2023 but is seen as a suitable replacement in the heart of the Real Madrid defence.

At first, it appeared to be Raphael Varane that was most likely to leave the Bernabeu this summer, with United one of his potential suitors.

But reports in the last few days suggest it is in fact club-captain Sergio Ramos who could be on his way out.

Ramos, 33, is thought to be "considering his future", alerting the likes of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain after a fallout with club president Florentino Perez.

But surprisingly it is Liverpool who have emerged as a shock contender to land the Spaniard if he does decide to quit.

If Koulibaly does move this summer, he is likely to become the world's most expensive defender, eclipsing Virgil van Dijk who signed for Liverpool for £75m.

However, the fact that Real Madrid have already been prepared to pay £79m for Koulibaly could suggest they are prioritising a defender.

Zinedine Zidane is also after Eden Hazard while Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe are also summer targets.

But it seems very unlikely that even Real Madrid's funds could not cover such an outrageous spending spree.

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Story first published: Monday, May 27, 2019, 12:35 [IST]
Other articles published on May 27, 2019
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