According to the Spanish publication Marca (h/t Express), Manchester United will compete with Manchester City for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegalese international is considered to be one of the best in his position in the world. A solid defender, he has been Napoli’s defensive lynchpin for the past few years.
The report goes on to say that the player is valued at £65million. United are expected to lose out if the interest leads to a bidding war.
United’s interest in the player exists despite having the second-best defence in the league. Despite that impressive statistic, the defence has been prone to making mistakes when put under pressure.
Harry Maguire has improved the backline but has shown he is not the Virgil van Dijk that fans had been calling out for. The same can be said for Victor Lindelof who has, to his credit, improved but prone to mistakes.
The Swede came in for criticism from Solskjaer for his inability to beat Olivier Giroud in the lead-up to Chelsea’s opener at the weekend.
This partnership between Maguire and Lindelof will need to be improved upon if we are to challenge the teams at the top.
The same can be seen in the case of arch-rivals City. The Sky Blues have an impressive attack, but a porous back-four has seen them fall behind Liverpool, who have a settled back-four.
Former United first-team coach Renee Meulensteen has confirmed that United decided against signing Van Dijk when he was at Southampton.
It proves to be a colossal failure as the Dutchman has since gone on to change the fortunes of our biggest rivals.
Paying over the odds for Koulibaly is a risk, especially given his advanced age and recent injury issues. The club will be better off investing that money elsewhere than look for a quick albeit temporary fix.