EXCLUSIVE: Man United wanted Koulibaly 'at all costs' in January

17 February at 20:35
Kalidou Koulibaly has come a long way over the past 18 months. Having joined Napoli amid general skepticism, the former Jupiler League stopper has needed only two seasons to impose himself as one of Serie A's best defenders... and Europe's hottest commodities. 

We already knew that both Bayer Leverkusen and Norwich City had tried to snag him this winter, only to be told no by Sporting Director Cristiano Giuntoli. Calciomercato.com have also learned, however, that Manchester United also wanted the Senegalese centre-back, with manager Louis Van Gaal saying that the Red Devils needed to bring him in "at all costs". 

The Premier League side eventually made an  offer in the region of €18 million ... which Giuntoli rebuffed. Napoli are very happy with the former Genk man, and the talk is that the two sides will be sitting down soon to hammer out a new deal. With Koulibaly's agent meeting Giuntoli ten days ago, the two sides know what the other wants: specifically, the defender hopes to nearly double his salary from the €800.000 he currently earns. 

At those prices... the man's a steal! He's created one of the league's best defensive pairings with Raul Albiol, thanks also to the careful stewardship of Maurizio Sarri. By the way, read one of columinst Matt Amalfitano's pieces on Napoli and the defence here. 

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