The Serie A club’s chief Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed the news that Manchester United made a £95million bid for defender Kalidou Koulibaly, which was rejected
Napoli’s chief also claimed that they had rebuffed such a bid when Jose Mourinho was still in charge of the Premier League giants. As per the Express, Koulibaily, who joined the Italian giants back in 2014, was a priority target for the Portuguese boss. The Senegal international has been imperious during his time with the club. It has not been a good period for Napoli, who finished third in their Champions League ‘group of death’, thus missing out on a last 16 spot to Liverpool and PSG.
During the deciding group stage game at Anfield, Koulibaly was unable to keep the Reds’s Mo Salah quiet, but Mourinho felt that was not a big issue if United wanted to bid for him in the summer. Mourinho in fact made his signing immediate on a a priority basis, as even identified the player to the United board, urging them to sign the defender. But that wasn’t to be, after which the manager publicly aired his grievances with chief executive Ed Woodward.
And De Laurentiis has now corroborated with claims that the Manchester giants had indeed submitted a bid to the tune of £95m for the 27-year-old centre-back. The bid — which would easily have smashed the world record transfer fee for a defender — was rejected by the Italian giants and De Laurentiis suggests it’s now ‘impossible’ for Koulibaly to leave Napoli. “(Jose) Mourinho wanted him, we rejected £95million. But now it’s impossible that he leaves Napoli,” De Laurentiis was quoted as saying by the Express.
The saga between United, Mourinho and Napoli regarding Koulibaly is well-known, and now that the former Chelsea manager has left his post, Napoli can breathe easy knowing that perhaps the Red Devils will not be so keen on their prized asset anymore. But it feels a bit like De Laurentiis was rubbing salt on Mourinho’s wounds by revealing details about the bid after the former was sacked.