According to recent reports from Manchester Evening News, Manchester United scouts are not entirely sure about signing Toby Alderweireld, who was thought to be the top target for the Red Devils this summer. Instead, United are looking for an alternative for the Belgian international and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly has emerged as a candidate.
Koulibaly, himself, is no stranger when it comes to attracting interest from top European clubs. He is one of three defenders Jose Mourinho has identified this summer. According to a report from Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Red Devils are even ready to rival Chelsea for the services of the highly rated Napoli centre-back.
Following a highly unsatisfactory season, despite finishing second in the Premier League, Manchester United are in the hunt for a top class defender this summer. Head coach Jose Mourinho is keen on lading the title next season after making good progress in the recently concluded season. For that reason, the Portuguese mastermind has deemed the defensive overhaul as paramount importance this summer.
This comes to no surprise at all, considering the fact that the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have been very inconsistent throughout the course of last season. Both of them are in fact linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer, however, which will pave in the way for a potential new centre-back.
Mourinho is said to be keen on signing a reliable partner for Eric Bailly in central defence and Kalidou Koulibaly, in that regard, could be an excellent signing for the Red Devils.
Since joining Napoli in the summer of 2014, the Senegalese international has emerged as a key component in his side’s defensive backline, having already made over 160 competitive appearances. However, that being said, the 26-year-old is yet to win any major silverware with the Italian giants, which could potentially influence him to join Manchester United this summer.
Normally known for his physical prowess and defensive abilities in the box, Koulibaly is currently one of the best defenders in Africa. That being said, it’s his passing quality and overall ball circulation which makes him such a sought-after defender in European football.
In the past couple of years, the 26-year-old has been transformed into a passing master from the back, who can not only circulate the play but also take part in the buildup play, largely thanks to head coach Maurizio Sarri.
In addition, his technical qualities in the defensive setup bode well for a more robust defender in the form of Eric Bailly. While Bailly’s physical dominance will help United remain rock solid at the back, Koulibaly’s long range of passing is sure to hand them the extra edge in possession phase, ultimately adding an extra dimension to their defensive gameplay.
So, the addition of Kalidou Koulibaly to Manchester United could prove to be a massive boon for the club as they look to pose a strong threat for the title next season.