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Manchester United Transfer news: Price is an issue in top defender chase

ANALYST
News
1.01K   //    16 May 2019, 00:37 IST

Manchester United v Cardiff City - Premier League
Manchester United v Cardiff City - Premier League

What's the story?

As reported by Independent and BBC, Manchester United's much-discussed pursuit of Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly has hit a snag with the Italian club's asking price of £90m for their prized asset deemed to be too high for United.

In case you didn't know...

Manchester United has had a dismal 2018-19 season, finishing 6th in the Premier League and find themselves outside the automatic Champions League qualification spots. To rub salt in the Red Devils' wounds, they have to sit idly as EPL rivals Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur set to battle it out in the Champions League final while Chelsea and Arsenal slated to lock horns in the Europa League final.

The 27-year-old Senegalese centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly has firmly established himself as one of Europe's top defenders and was one of the key reasons why Napoli lie in the second position in Serie A.

He has been a mainstay in defence for Carlo Ancelotti's side, averaging 2.2 aerials won, 1.8 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 3.8 clearances and 1 block per game this season, across all competitions. The 6-foot 5-inch defender is known for his aerial dominance, slotting in two goals as well this campaign.

The heart of the matter

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United are looking to shore up a leaky defence that let in 54 goals in this seasons Premier League and Koulibaly was an obvious top target. Negotiations, however, have currently stalled with Napoli since their asking price of £90m is deemed too high by the Red Devils management.

Napoli are in a strong negotiating position, having no need to sell him and having a contract in place with the Senegalese international till 2021. Alternatives lined up by Solskjaer should the Koulibaly chase fail are apparently Leicester City's Harry Maguire and Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar

What's next?

Napoli face Inter Milan next in the Serie A, a battle between the second and third-placed sides in the league.

Manchester United's official matches for this season have drawn to a close. Their next scheduled match is an off-season friendly against Australian club Perth Glory, scheduled for 13th July.

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