Koulibaly May Have To Wait
Manchester United are expected to wait until the summer before making a renewed effort to sign Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegal international is one of United’s top transfer targets at present although Napoli have put a valuation on him of around £112million. The problem for the Serie A side is the prospect of finding a replacement for Koulibaly.
United felt that the Italian club’s exit from the Champions League could improve their chances of signing the 27-year-old this month. But Napoli president Aurelio di Laurentiis has his eye on qualification for next season’s competition.
Napoli currently lie in second place in Serie A and there is a 13-point gap between them and Milan in fifth place just outside the Champions League placings.
Di Laurentiis won’t sanction a move this month. But if it’s any consolation to Manchester United he is less likely to demand £112million in the summer.
Herrera To Spurn Bilbao Return?
Athletic Bilbao are keen to bring Ander Herrera back to the club. Sporting director Rafael Alkorta admitted to Spanish radio network Cadena SER on Tuesday that Herrera is one of four former players he wants to bring back. Tottenham Hotspur striker Fernando Llorente, Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez and Alaves winger Ibai Gomez are the others.
Alkorta says he will begin work this week on moves for the quartet.
Herrera’s contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of this season and he is now free to speak to overseas clubs about a pre-contract agreement.
But The Sun reports today that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has convinced Herrera to stay and that the Spaniard will sign a new deal at Old Trafford.
Given that Solskjaer will be gone this summer that sounds unlikely. As ever, it’s more likely to be down to money. Herrera would have to take a huge pay cut to move to Bilbao.
On the other hand, he is likely to receive more playing time with the La Liga side. Herrera has made just nine Premier League starts this season along with five appearances off the bench. He made 14 starts and 14 substitute appearances in the 2017-18 campaign.