Manchester United still watching Kalidou Koulibaly

Koulibaly scored his first Serie A goal against Palermo (©GettyImages)

Manchester United are still tracking Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly as Louis van Gaal considers his options ahead of the January transfer window.

According to the Daily Star, the 23-year-old centre-back is one of Van Gaal's big defensive transfer targets as the United boss looks to replace an error-prone back-line.

United have already conceded 14 Premier League goals this season, and a combination of bad luck with injuries and bad performances has conspired to land the Old Trafford club in 10th place.

Koulibaly is one of several players under consideration as United plan their January transfer activity. Centre-back is the key position in need of strengthening, and targets include Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels and Aston Villa's Dutch international Ron Vlaar.

Injuries to the likes of Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones have handicapped van Gaal, forcing him to rely on academy players like Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair.

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With summer signing Marcos Rojo likely to be absent for a prolonged period as he recovers from a dislocated shoulder, United's defensive predicament is not expected to improve in the short term.

Looking further down the line though, Koulibaly has been identified as a potential addition that wouldn't cost the same high price as a player like Hummels, who won the World Cup with Germany over the summer.

Move to Italy

A former star in the Belgian first division, Koulibaly completed an £8m move to Napoli over the summer and has impressed Serie A watchers with his no nonsense brand of defending.

The Frenchman would certainly be an imposing figure, as he stands 6ft 5in tall but the Frenchman is not short of pace either. He is yet to feature for the French national team.

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