Napoli admit defeat in battle to keep Man Utd top defensive target

Manchester United have been handed a huge boost after Napoli confirmed Kalidou Koulibaly will be sold – in spite of them rejecting a world record £91 million offer in the summer.

President Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed the time will come when he’ll be forced to sell his star central defender.

The Red Devils chased Koulibaly all summer, with Partenopei rejecting a world-record deal for the 28-year-old star.

But now Aurelio has revealed: “I loved Koulibaly the man so I refused £91m offer, but a time will come when I’ll have to sell him. Whoever says we didn’t improve our defence is wrong.”

Meanwhile, Kalidou himself has had his say on the persistent transfer speculations – saying he is entirely focused on the Italian giants.

Senegal international said: “I’m used to [transfer rumours]. So many [stories] come out each day, which say I’m leaving.

“Right now, my only objective is to win with Napoli. I don’t care about the rest. Our objective remains to beat the best teams in Italy and win the [Serie A title].

“This season is more difficult because all the teams have got stronger and Serie A has become more competitive.

“We must think positively and be aware that we can do well. My objective is to help the club and team win a trophy now.”

Manchester United had hoped to bring Koulibaly to the Theatre of Dreams this summer, but on having their monster bid snubbed, instead turned to Harry Maguire in an £85 million deal.

However, that bid is one of many that show how Red Devils lag behind the likes of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, in terms of the transfer market dealings – and is one big reason why they are struggling so badly this season.

Man Utd trying to strike surprise deal for Chile midfielder valued at £13m

Barcelona star Arturo Vidal is reportedly on the transfer radar of Manchester United as the club eye up a January move.

The 32-year-old midfielder – who has started just three La Liga matches this season – is said to be unhappy about his limited playing time and is believed to be open to a transfer away.

In a recent interview, the Chilean star stressed he will weigh up his options in December to see if he has a future with the Catalan club.

He said: “If in December or at the end of the season I think I am not important here, I will have to find a solution and evaluate the horizons to be so again.”

According to FcInterNews, the English heavyweights have made contact with Vidal’s representative Fernando Felicevich.

They claim that the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has a good relationship with the agent having worked with him in the deal that saw Vidal’s compatriot Alexis Sanchez join Inter Milan.

The report also adds that Red Devils are keen to sign a high-profile midfielder in the January transfer market.

It has been claimed that Blaugrana would be willing to part ways with Arturo should they receive a sum of around £13m.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side face competition from Inter Milan, who are understood to be keen on bringing him to the San Siro on loan.

Vidal would reportedly welcome a transfer to join the Nerazzurri where he would be reunited with former Juventus manager Antonio Conte.

The two-time Copa America winner has chipped in with four goals and one assist in 13 appearances in all competitions this term.

One-time Man Utd defender tells former club to bring in on-fire Bayern star

Manchester United have been urged to land Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski in the winter transfer market as they try to secure a return to UEFA Champions League football.

The Polish star is one of Europe’s most in-form centre-forwards having scored 27 goals in 21 games across all competitions this season, with Bayern Munich improbable to sell up.

In spite of that, former United defender Clayton Blackmore has backed his former club to attempt the permanent signing of the player, who now has 399 career goals in 595 outings.

“They need to get a top striker who the players can learn from,” Clayton told the Daily Star.

“I’d like to see Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski come in. He’s 31 although still scores goals for fun.”

Ole has admitted that he will be on the observation post for a new striker despite suggesting that the club were content for Lukaku to leave without being replaced.

Dimitar Berbatov has given his thoughts on the current situation up front, and backed Marcus to become a club legend.

The former Manchester United forward told Betfair: “He is still so young and no doubt he will be on the radar of a few other clubs, but I see him as a typical born and bred Manchester United player.

“Someone who can carry the torch for academy players coming through at United, to show that it can be done.

“He is the prime example and he can still go further, maybe one day he can be the captain.

“I can see him staying at United for a very long time and it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if he is a one-club man. I always wanted to be like that but it was never possible for me.”