Manchester United are not frontrunners to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly just because “they had a good few games” after Bruno Fernandes’ arrival, says former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley. Koulibaly looks set to leave Napoli in the next transfer window and is linked with a host of Europe’s top clubs. Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are reportedly keen on the centre-back, as are United who have held a long-standing interest in the player.
Before football was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak last month, United were on an unbeaten run of 12 matches in all competitions.
A large reason for that run was the impact of Fernandes, who joined from Sporting Lisbon for £46.6million in January.
The Portugal international had a fine start to life at Old Trafford but Burley believes some United fans have gone over the top with their optimism.
Speaking about the Red Devils’ interest in Koulibaly, Burley gave United supporters a reality check by pointing out how many points they are behind Premier League leaders and rivals Liverpool.
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“Man United fans at the moment, some of them, seem to be living in cloud cuckoo land,” Burley said on ESPN FC.
“They think they’re all of a sudden the most attractive club in the world again because they had a good few games with Bruno Fernandes before the season finished.
“I had to remind some of them on social media that before the season’s even finished in the Premier League they’re 37 points behind.
“So that really is again something that you have to weigh up.
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“We don’t really know what situation Man United will be in or indeed who they might sign in the summer.”
Meanwhile, French football expert Julien Laurens claims PSG is the most likely destination for Koulibaly.
“There’s a few factors that we need to remind everyone,” Laurens said.
“Although he represents Senegal, he’s French, he’s from France. I think the idea of going back home [to PSG] appeals to him.
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“Let’s not forget he bought a very expensive flat in Paris very recently.
“The second is that his agent is very close to Leonardo, the PSG sporting director.
“I think PSG is an attractive position for him, not just financially, but also because they are in the Champions League, which may not be the case for the other two [Manchester United and City].
“With City, the current ban that they have from all European competitions – we don’t know if that will be upheld or removed or even extended. That could swing things in PSG’s favour.
“With Man Utd too, we don’t know if they’ll qualify, will they qualify regularly in years to come?
“United would be interesting, so would City with [Pep] Guardiola. But PSG, I think for me, have an edge over the other two.”
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