Manchester United and Chelsea have both sent scouts to watch highly-rated Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly this season, and are said to be interested in a January deal for the player.
The 23-year-old, who only joined his current club in the summer, has shown great maturity in his early days in Serie A, and is now being followed by a number of big teams. The Daily Express claims that United and Chelsea are just two of his suitors, and that the big centre-half could be the subject of bids come the next transfer window.
Koulibaly, who has been tipped for a bright future ever since his Genk days, could potentially fix a problem that has threatened to derail Louis van Gaal’s maiden season at Old Trafford, and there’s every chance he’d become a useful tool in Jose Mourinho’s dominant Chelsea squad as well.
Though as of yet it remains to be seen whether he’d be happy to up-trade Napoli so soon after signing with them a transfer to Stamford Bridge would certainly take him one step closer to any ambitions he has of adding major trophies to his cabinet, particularly given how well the Blues have performed so far this campaign.
At the moment Mourinho is thought to be after another young defender, as his pursuit of Raphael Varane clearly demonstrates, and with John Terry approaching the end of his career there’s certainly room for a rising prospect to attempt to fill arguably the biggest defensive boots in football.
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That being said he’d be assured far more first-team game-time with United, given the fact that shortages at the back are rife at Old Trafford. Though Van Gaal spent handsomely to bring in big names this summer he neglected to add anyone of note to the centre of his defence, and now he’s paying his dues after experiencing an injury crisis.
The fact that Michael Carrick and academy graduate Paddy McNair were the starters against Crystal Palace at the weekend is evidence of a need to bring in new faces come January, and a player who can promise plenty of years service might be preferred to one edging towards the twilight of his career.