As numerous transfer rumours flood the football world, only a handful of people at the elite level seem to know all the details and concrete facts about clubs and their transfer strategies. Manchester United seems to be the most unpredictable of these clubs. As many reports earlier suggested – United would miss out on signing Kalidou Koulibaly but would turn their attention towards Rúben Dias, Benfica’s centre-back.
At this point of time, most reports stand in stark contrast to one another and it is getting increasingly harder to tell the truth behind what is going on in the public eye.
The speculations began when Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentils claimed he turned down a bid from a Premier League club, believed to be Manchester United in the region of €105 million (£95 million) late last year. A short while later, it was widely reported that a €110 million bid was also rejected (roughly £97.5 million) by the Italian side. However, new reports have emerged which claim that United have readied another bid for their Senegalese target in the region of €95 million (£85 million).
Clearly, these reports do not seem to work well together. After getting bids of £95 million and £97.5 million rejected, there seems to be no plausible reason as to why United would offer a bid of £85 million, comparatively undervalued to the previous bids.
Interestingly, the timing of these transfer reports coincides with former Old Trafford gaffer Louis Van Gaal’s claims about the distorted structure of authority at United and its flawed transfer strategy, which you can get details of here. Some fans seem to agree that Ed Woodward might indeed have “zero understanding of football.”
To look after their financial interests, the Glazers put ex-banker Woodward in charge of United. Over 6 years he has demonstrated nothing but gross incompetence in all sporting matters. 'He has zero understanding of football' said Van Gaal this week. #failure #mufc
— Barney @Red News (@barneyrednews) June 4, 2019
Moreover, the fact that United have not qualified for the UEFA Champions League in the coming season, while Napoli have, reduces the chances of Koulibaly potentially transferring to Manchester. A bid in the region of €130 million, as Napoli have reportedly countered with, may turn the tables in United’s favour, but it is highly doubtful considering that United will have to break their transfer record. Additionally, Ed Woodward is in charge – his only goal being, making the club profitable to the Glazer family, Manchester United’s owners, while turning a blind eye to overall development of the club.
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Carlo Ancelloti has been quoted as saying “Koulibaly is not for sale.” However, Ancelloti has also said that he would not block Koulibaly’s transfer if the player himself opted to move away from the club.
Koulibaly would be a great signing for Manchester United, as their weakest suit this season was their defence. Solskjaer will be looking to completely reconstruct the defence and will, naturally, look for players who can effortlessly bridge what seemed to be a major gap between the defence and the centre as well as front third. Koulibaly has proved his worth with Napoli and has become indispensable to the Italian side, that will hope to retain him for the coming season’s Champions League campaign.
Whether Solskjaer will be able to sign the Red Devils’ long term target, or even if they indeed have prepared a new £85 million bid, will only come to light later in the transfer window.