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Man Utd ‘tried to sign Koulibaly before Varane in summer transfer window’

Manchester United failed to sign Kalidou Koulibaly before Raphael Varane this summer, Italian reports say.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a center-back one of his top priorities in the window, along with Jadon Sancho.

Soon after completing a £73million move for Sancho, 21, from Borussia Dortmund, Varane, 28, arrived after leaving Real Madrid.

But according to Corriere Dello Sport, Napoli’s Koulibaly was preferred to the Frenchman, who later arrived for £42million.

It is claimed United were ready to offer £30m for the Senegal captain, but were told it would not be enough.

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Napoli before have set a £100m price tag on Koulibaly, one of the highest-rated defenders in the world.

But, after recent financial woes at the Serie A club, it is believed they would be willing to slash their asking price.

Nevertheless, United settled for Varane, who left the Spanish capital with just one year left on his deal.

Amazingly, he was then joined by former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, 36, who returned to United after initially leaving in 2009.

Paul Pogba, who also plays with Varane for France, hailed the star signings when quizzed on recent international duty.

Pogba, 28, told Telefoot: “It’s always a pleasure to play with the best.

“It’s also a plus for the players to be able to train with a great player. He’s going to raise the level of the team.”

Pogba sang Ronaldo’s praises shortly after the star forward completed his stunning comeback to Manchester.”


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