One of the most frequent rumours involving Manchester United is the potential transfer of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegalese international has been linked with a whole host of English clubs over the past couple of seasons, with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, West Ham and even Newcastle being brought into the conversation.
On the surface, Koulibaly’s switch to England makes sense. He is physically strong, making him a perfect fit for the Premier League. He is rated as one of the best defenders in the world, inevitably meaning he’d be mentioned with teams in this country.
The 28-year-old is, however, also valued at a very high price by his club. This is the real key to why Koulibaly is doing the rounds.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is believed to be keen to free up funds for other transfers and after having reportedly agreed to let the defender go this summer, he is seeking buyers.
The Italian press have, therefore, made it known to all that will listen that Koulibaly will be available for around the €100m mark this summer; a figure which, is in the current global situation, looks excessive, especially when you consider the defender turns 29 next month.
United may have taken the bait last summer, before signing Harry Maguire, but the truth is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are now looking for players who are much younger than the Napoli star.
Yet, the rumour still persists, with Liverpool, Chelsea and City all being put into the mix for good measure. None of these clubs are likely to spend that much on Koulibaly and yet the valuation remains very high.
This is probably where the likes of Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain come in. Both these teams reportedly have an active interest in the Senegalese defender.
With these clubs both being backed by wealthy owners, who do not have to concern themselves with the global financial situation, it means they could pay Napoli’s asking price.
Yet, if there is no other competition for Koulibaly, the incentive to give in to the Serie A side’s demands is low. With that being the case, mentioning the likes of United and Liverpool helps.
Someone is feeding the Italian media these rumours and while you cannot rule out some of these clubs being interested, the likelihood is they are just being used in a game of chess so Koulibaly is sold for the highest fee possible.