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€60M Premier League striker offered to Barcelona, Real Madrid told to pay €180 million for Cristiano Ronaldo replacement and more: Transfer Roundup, 13 December 2018

Shambhu Ajith
16.54K   //    13 Dec 2018, 18:59 IST

Lionel Messi can take a breather
Lionel Messi can take a breather

Hello and welcome to Sportskeeda's daily transfer roundup. Much like the last winter transfer window, a lot of big deals are expected to go over the line this time. As such, the rumour mill is abuzz.

The clubs have had adequate time to identify their own weakness and they will look to address the problems within their squad in January- be it clearing the deadwood or bringing in reinforcements to bolster their ranks.

With giant European clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United struggling in their respective leagues, we expect a great amount of cash to be splashed in this upcoming window.

Without further ado, let's take a look at the top transfer stories and rumours that made headlines on 13th December 2018.

Manchester United make progress in Kalidou Koulibaly pursuit

Kalidou Koulibaly in action for Napoli
Kalidou Koulibaly in action for Napoli

According to Duncan Castles (via Daily Star), Kalidou Koulibaly is on top of Manchester United's wish-list. Manchester United are in desperate need of a centre-back after having conceded 26 goals in 16 games in the Premier League.

Duncan Castles has now claimed that United have made progress in their pursuit of the Napoli defender.

Talking in the Transfer Window Podcast,

“Koulibaly is the guy. If you give [Mourinho] a blank sheet of realistically available centre-backs, he’s the one he is advising the club to sign,” 
“There has been progress in that, which tells you that Manchester United’s board are at least prepared to show willing when it comes to doing something in January in the market, in that they’ve had a meeting with Napoli to enquire about Koulibaly and got the response that he would cost over €100m, they don’t want to sell the player and he’d cost over €100m.
“I think there’s a question mark over whether Ed Woodward would sign him for a fee of that amount, or even a fee approaching that amount, unless his immense, gargantuan team of scouts were saying that that player was the right player in their mind to strengthen the position as well as in Mourinho’s mind.”

The Senegalese defender has emerged as one of the best centre-backs in Europe over the past couple of years, being named in the Serie A team of the season thrice.

United have reportedly had their initial move for Koulibaly rebuffed. About that, Castles said,

“What I would say is, I think it’s a very odd strategy to go to Napoli while they were still in the Champions League, to ask the price of a player in the January market."
“If you set yourself up and you actually want to sign Kalidou Koulibaly, you want to strike at a moment of weakness, so the more intelligent strategy would have been to wait and see if Napoli were knocked out of the Champions League and see if you could tempt their owner with a sale at that point, knowing that the player is open to the move, knowing that although he’s renewed his contract at Napoli in September, that his wage level isn’t so high that you can improve it at a reasonable cost to the club.
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