Manchester United were reportedly “ready to offer €35m” for Kalidou Koulibaly before the Napoli president stepped in.
Koulibaly has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs for a long, long time now and United’s summer search for a partner for Harry Maguire led them to consider a move for the 30-year-old once again.
United instead landed Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, but Corriere Dello Sport journalist Antonio Giordano has confirmed that United were preparing an offer for Koulibaly, before Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis insisted he would not be sold for the amount they were prepared to bid.
“De Laurentiis had the strength to refuse all the offers that arrived for the big names, in particular for Koulibaly,” said Giordano (via Sport Witness).
“Manchester United were ready to offer €35m, but the boss made it known that for that amount Kalidou would not move”.
Meanwhile, United legend Peter Schmeichel has criticised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his tactics in their embarrassing defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday.
“We can always question team selection, I just think when your next game is Sunday at West Ham, first game in the Champions League – why don’t you play your best team, your best players?” Schmeichel told CBS Sports.
“Regardless of astroturf, whatever excuses you come up with, get that win on there.
“I think when you look at Mason Greenwood, he’s in great form, he’s a young man, he creates chances and not only does he score he creates chances for others.
“Varane has just come to the club but I would’ve loved to see those two playing.
“Then he takes Ronaldo off. We as fans want Ronaldo to be on the pitch, regardless of if they’re down to 10 men, if he gets the ball he can make something happen.
“They were hoping for a very long time to have that kind of player and he puts somebody on that he last year he sent out on loan. He’s a player he tried to sell, tried to loan out, and he replaces him with Ronaldo, I just find it strange.
“But to get a result in-house, it’s 1-1, he puts Martial on, we talked about that, that was really weird because Martial doesn’t defend well. He doesn’t work hard, he’s a goalscorer but we’re down to 10 men, we don’t expect to create many chances, so why put Martial on?”