Manchester United had a ‘£30m bid for Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly TURNED DOWN’ before making their move for £42m Raphael Varane this summer
- Raphael Varane completed his big-money move to Manchester United in August
- However, the Red Devils had previously bid €35million (£30m) for Koulibaly
- Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis felt the offer was too low and rejected it
- The Italian giants are one of three sides with a 100% start to Serie A this season
- Koulibaly got the winner on Saturday as Luciano Spalletti’s men beat Juventus
Manchester United reportedly failed to sign Kalidou Koulibaly before getting their hands on Raphael Varane.
After months of rumours, Varane finally completed his £42million move to Old Trafford from Real Madrid just before the team’s emphatic 5-1 win over Leeds.
However, Koulibaly is thought to have been a top target for the Red Devils to solve their centre-back conundrum, according to Corriere dello Sport journalist Antonio Giordano via Sport Witness.
Manchester United signed Raphael Varane in August – but it could have been Kalidou Koulibaly
The Red Devils reportedly offered Napoli €35million (£30m) for the Senegalese defender
However, owner Aurelio de Laurentiis rejected all bids for the club’s top stars over the summer
United are said to have made Napoli a €35m (£30m) offer for the Senegalese, but were told by the Italians that the figure was not enough, who were said to be demanding ‘at least’ €50m (£43m).
Koulibaly was available for £72m last summer – but his asking price has dropped in the wake of financial problems that befell the Campania club due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the podcast Ne Parliamo Il Martedi (translation: we’ll talk about it on Tuesday), Giordano revealed that Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis batted away a number of offers for the club’s top stars.
‘De Laurentiis had the strength to refuse all the offers that arrived for the big names, in particular for Koulibaly,’ Giordano said.
‘Manchester United were ready to offer €35m, but the boss made it known that for that amount Kalidou would not move.’
De Laurentiis’ hard ball approach appears to have paid off on the pitch at least, with Napoli one of three clubs alongside Roma and AC Milan to have won all three of their Serie A games so far this season.
Koulibaly pretended to take a photo after scoring the winner against Juventus at the weekend
Napoli are one of only three clubs to have won all three of their Serie A games so far this term
Varane experienced his first defeat in a United shirt as they lost to Young Boys on Tuesday
The latest of those victories saw Koulibaly score an 85th-minute winner to make it 2-1 against Juventus in their first game since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to United as the centre back headed home from just a few yards out after Wojciech Szczesny had just prevented the newly returned Moise Kean from scoring an embarrassing own goal.
Varane meanwhile has played three times for his new side, keeping a clean sheet on his debut at Wolves but picking up a yellow card in the 2-1 defeat to Young Boys on Tuesday, his first defeat under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
It is Koulibaly’s turn to be in European action tonight as Luciano Spalletti’s men travel to the King Power to face Leicester in their opening Europa League encounter this term after fellow Group C opponents Legia Warsaw beat Spartak Moscow 1-0 on Wednesday.