Everybody knows Manchester United need to buy in defence. A look at the personnel and statistics will tell you that, if you’ve somehow managed to avoid Jose Mourinho’s constant whinging about player availability and not getting what he wanted this past summer, as Chris Sutton alludes to via The Express.
On Saturday, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic both started in a back three with Phil Jones against Southampton. If that’s not enough to convince Ed Woodward to pull his finger out, I don’t know what will…
A name doing the rounds as a potential target is the highly rated Kalidou Koulibaly, but a recent report suggests United’s pursuit for the centre-back has suffered a big blow after Napoli rejected a £91 million (€103m) bid.
That’s according to Corriere dello Sport, translated by Goal, who claim that the Italian club turned down a world-record bid for the Senegalese defender. Napoli will try squeeze as much money possible out of whatever club wants to buy Koulibaly next month or in the summer and nobody can knock them for that.
Of course, it’s a lot of money to splash out on a defender but he’s a genuine monster at the back and his arrival may even give the other centre-backs at the club a much-needed kick up the arse. Victor Lindelof looks like he has something and there’s Eric Bailly waiting ever so patiently for more opportunities.
Koulibaly would make a significant impact to United’s defence – with or without Mourinho – and he’s exactly the type of player the club should be aiming to sign. There are few better defenders in European football right now.
Mourinho was asked about United’s interest in Koulibaly following the 2-2 draw at Southampton on Saturday. As quoted by The Mirror, he said: “I cannot answer to your question.
“If is true, if is not true, I cannot answer to your question, maybe your question is the first one about the market and maybe the next press conference I have two more questions, and maybe the next press conference I have three more.
“The only thing I can tell you is Koulibaly is a Napoli player. And I don’t speak about players from other clubs.”