Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants to beat Man Utd to sign new Virgil van Dijk partner

Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly set to go head-to-head for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly this summer. Reports in Italy claim Jurgen Klopp wants to partner the 28-year-old with Virgil van Dijk next season.

United attempted to sign Koulibaly last year but their initial bid was rejected so they instead captured Harry Maguire from Leicester for £80million.

However, the Red Devils are in desperate need for another centre-back and they have been strongly linked with making a return for the Napoli star.

Serie A clubs are in financial trouble because of the coronavirus so the defender’s price tag could see a dramatic decrease from the £100m it was before the pandemic.

Tuttomercatoweb claim that could open the door for Liverpool to make a move for the 28-year-old.

Klopp is said to be looking to reduce Joel Matip’s involvement and he sees Koulibaly as the ideal replacement.

If the Senegal international moves to Anfield it would give Klopp arguably the strongest defensive back four in the world.

Van Dijk finished second to Lionel Messi in last year’s Ballon d’Or while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson cause devastation down the flanks.

With Koulibaly adding extra steal in front of goalkeeper Alisson Becker, it would be difficult for many teams to break through.

However, French football expert Julien Laurens thinks Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain have the edge in the transfer battle.

“There’s a few factors that we need to remind everyone,” Laurens said.

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“Although he represents Senegal, he’s French, he’s from France. I think the idea of going back home [to PSG] appeals to him.

“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 Guardiola. But PSG, I think for me, have an edge over the other two.”

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