Pair Lined Up For January Transfers
Manchester United are considering moves for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly regardless of whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains as manager.
That’s the verdict of Goal in what is a largely speculative report.
Solskjaer’s position at the club is under threat following their worst start to a Premier League season in 30 years.
However, Goal’s assertion is that United will launch bids for Rice and Koulibaly in the January transfer window.
Whether those bids succeed is another matter. Rice decided long before the end of last season that he wouldn’t be leaving West Ham preferring instead to spend another season playing regular first-team football. It has proved to be a wise move with the Hammers currently in eighth place in the Premier League table on 12 points – three points and four positions ahead of United. A mid-season move looks unlikely.
Napoli are also unlikely to sanction the sale of Koulibaly to United. The Senegal international hasn’t been an automatic first-team choice for the Serie A side this season and that can only work in United’s favour.
However, Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis said at the end of last year the time will come when Koulibaly will be sold for an “indecent” offer. That means anything above £100 million and it raises the question of why United didn’t do that in the summer. Instead, the Red Devils spent £80 million on Harry Maguire who hasn’t been the towering presence at the heart of the United defence that it had been hoped.
Plus, Koulibaly is 28 – he will be 29 in June – and United are unlikely to spend so much money on a player in his late-twenties and already past his peak.
The chances of either of those players joining Manchester United in January are slim.