Manchester United and Man City to go head-to-head for centre-back targets including Kalidou Koulibaly

Manchester City and Manchester United are set to fight it out for the same centre-backs this summer, as both have strong interest in Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar.

City’s need for a centre-half is greater, with Pep Guardiola and the hierarchy having made the position a priority this summer, after the problems encountered in the wake of Vincent Kompany’s retirement this summer.

Koulibaly has been cited as a top target, although The Independent has been told that Inter would be interested in a potential swap involving Sergio Aguero and Skriniar.

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The latter could prove more attractive if CAS uphold City’s Champions League ban, and the club are forced to constrain their spending.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is meanwhile mulling over how best to use his budget, with United seeing how the market plays out before deciding on what to prioritise.

Jadon Sancho has long been the number-one target, to also cover a desired signing at wing-forward, but they have also been ruminating on whether to also go for a striker, another central midfielder or a new central defender.

Solskjaer is increasingly seeing Mason Greenwood as a potential 20-goal-per-season striker, and ahead of time, which may well affect United’s plans. That would also make a move for a defender more likely.

Koulibaly has long been at the top of United’s list there, which could well put them into a bidding war with City.

The market has dropped a bit due to the Covid-19 crisis, and Napoli are understood to expect any deal to be closer to £70m rather than the £100m they had anticipated a few months ago.

United have long had an interest in Skriniar, too, but Swansea City’s Joe Rodon has been looked at as an option and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano is highly rated by the club too.

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