MANCHESTER UNITED could turn their attention to Milan Skriniar if they can’t get a deal for Kalidou Koulibaly over the line.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to find a long-term partner for Harry Maguire – an £85million buy from last summer.
But he will have to compete with Manchester City chief Pep Guardiola, who is also after BOTH defenders.
Man Utd have been chasing Koulibaly from Napoli for over a year.
The Senegal star, 29, decided to stay put last summer but has revealed he wants to quit the club this year.
But recent reports claim Koulibaly has opted to join City.
Duncan Castles revealed: “[Napoli boss Gennaro] Gattuso has been told Koulibaly WILL be sold this summer.
“Koulibaly himself is open to that and is ready for a change of environment.
“He’s keen to move to the Premier League.
“The word from people close to Koulibaly is he thinks there’s a strong chance he will end up at Man City.
“In Koulibaly’s mind, it’s his more likely destination this summer.”
“Talk from Napoli is they could be looking at around £70m now.”
With that in mind, Man Utd have been forced to look elsewhere for a ready-made superstar to stick in the heart of their defence.
And Inter Milan star Skriniar has been targeted with the Serie A giants boasting a wealth of defensive stars already.
Along with Diego Godin, Stefan De Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni, Skriniar has been a rock.
And the 26-year-old Slovakian – valued at around £52.5m – could now head to Old Trafford.
However, they could yet again be thwarted by City, who are desperate to add numbers and quality to their back-line.
Guardiola and Co are rumoured to be willing to offer Sergio Aguero as part of a swap deal for Skriniar, say the Independent.
Man Utd though, will be happy to throw money at Koulibaly and Skriniar.
With Mason Greenwood on fire, along with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, Solskjaer’s key focus is no longer in attack, but defence.
Along with the hunt for Jadon Sancho, the Red Devils chief’s top priority is a world-class centre-back.