Manchester United will face stiff competition if they are to land one of their January transfer targets as Barcelona have come steaming in early doors, with a major bid. According to Italian publication La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Barcelona have been monitoring the Serie A star all season and have put in a bid for his services.
The player in question is Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Barcelona submitted a €70m bid to try and persuade the Serie A side to sell one of their key assets in January. This bid was instantly rejected by Napoli who are desperate to hold onto their key central defender, or at least drive the price up by starting a bidding war between some of Europe’s elite clubs.
Manchester United are also monitoring the ongoing situation with Koulibaly high up on their list, with the club and Jose Mourinho acknowledging the need to improve their defence. The Portuguese boss has £100m to play with in January and is willing to splurge it on a leader at the back.
Koulibaly, along with Inter Milan’s 23-year-old centre back Milan Skriniar and Alessio Romagnoli of AC Milan have been identified as three Serie A defenders Mourinho could target. You would think Koulibaly would be top of the list given his extra experience and form, but he will come at a hefty price.
Barcelona, on the other hand, are looking for a long-term partner for Samuel Umtiti, with Gerard Pique reaching the twilight years of his career. If they can bag Koulibaly then they would be set in central defence for the coming years. This could be a transfer saga that drags on and on.