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Manchester United were close to adding another player to their ranks this summer, with Napoli's imperious defender Kalidou Kouliably rumoured to be on the club's radar.
That's according to Antonio Giordano of Italian sports newspaper Corriere Dello Sport. He claims that Ole Gunnar Solskjær and the powers that be at United were willing to pay around €35 million for the 30 year old but Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis wouldn't budge.
"De Laurentiis had the strength to refuse all the offers that arrived for the big names, in particular Koulibaly," Giordano said, as quoted by Sport Witness. "Manchester United were willing to offer €35 million but the boss made it known that for that amount Kalidou would not move."
This is not the first time the Senegal captain has been linked with a transfer to the Premier League. Last summer, it was reported that the centre back was 'certain' to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, with the club even advertising a competition to win a shirt signed by the defender.
Furthermore, there were links at the end of last season with Everton and Carlo Ancelotti, who had managed Kouliably whilst in Italy between 2018 and 2019.
However, no such move to England has materialised, with the former Metz and Genk man now entering his 8th season at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
If United had managed to acquire the defender, it would have enhanced an already impressive transfer window. In addition to signing former goalkeeper Tom Heaton, Real Madrid's silky centre back Raphaël Varane and England speedster Jadon Sancho, the club also brought back Cristiano Ronaldo, who had spent 11 years away from Old Trafford.
That said, the Norwegian could have done with Koulibaly in his back four for Tuesday night's trip to Young Boys. Despite taking the lead early on, the visitors endured a miserable evening in Switzerland, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off just before half-time and Jesse Lingard gifting the hosts a winner in the 5th minute of added time.
The league leaders will look to bounce back immediately this Sunday when they travel to face former manager David Moyes and West Ham United at the London Stadium.
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