Manchester United have decided against making a move to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli during this summer’s transfer window, Manchester Evening News reports.
The Senegal international has made 233 appearances during his six-and-a-half stay in Naples where he has built his reputation as one of the best centre-backs in world football.
As such, he is fondly admired by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and a recent report from La Repubblica claimed that United could pay around £74m (€80m) to land his services ahead of arch-rivals Manchester City.
This has, however, been dismissed by Manchester Evening News, who suggest that Solskjaer is content with the central defensive options at hand and Koulibaly is not an ‘essential target’ for the club.
Last summer’s signing Harry Maguire has partnered Victor Lindelof at the heart of the defence for most of the current campaign and the likes of Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe have acted as the back-up options.
During the summer, United will also retain the services of Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling after their respective loan contracts but they will probably part ways with a couple of centre-backs.
Rojo and Smalling seem the most likely to head through the exit door but there are suggestions that Jones’ future at Old Trafford is bleak, having managed just two league appearances this term.
Still, United would have the position covered with Bailly and Tuanzebe taking up the deputy roles but the former’s fitness remains questionable, given he has failed to remain unscathed for an entire season.
Despite the Red Devils’ inconsistent displays this term, the defence has shown a steady improvement. The club have kept nine clean sheets from the previous 11 games across all competitions.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com