According to Italian tabloid Corriere dello Sport as reported by Football Italia, Manchester United has submitted a bid for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly upwards of $107.7 million.
The report states that since the Red Devils are anticipating a swing and miss on Matthijs de Ligt, they have now set their sights on the 27-year-old Senegal international who has been an absolute workhorse for the Serie A side since joining in 2014. Koulibaly has made at least 27 Serie A appearances in each of his five seasons at Napoli, topping the 30-game mark in three of the last four seasons including 35 games played in each of the last two campaigns.
Koulibaly reportedly has a $170 million release clause that becomes active next summer, with his contract not set to expire until the summer of 2023 having signed an extension just last year. Still, Koulibaly has been a wanted man over the past few years, with Napoli fending off rumors constantly.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has been firm in his valuation of $113 million for Koulibaly even as far back as last November when reports came out of a bid from Manchester United. Corriere dello Sport themselves reported that Napoli rejected a bid $102 million from Real Madrid for Koulibaly back in late May, proving De Laurentiis a tough nut to crack. However, if the latest bid is indeed a reality, it could test the executive’s resolve with the submission coming so close to his valuation and providing the club with a massive financial influx.
Koulibaly is currently on international duty with Senegal in the African Cup of Nations, set to begin play in the tournament on June 23 when they take on Tanzania in the first game of group stage play. They have a friendly against Nigeria to navigate first, scheduled for June 16. Koulibaly’s last two starts for Senegal both ended in clean sheets, with wins over Equatorial Guinea and Madagascar completing the AFCON qualification cycle.