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Manchester City 'keen to avoid Kalidou Koulibaly bidding war with Man United'

Man City 'keen to avoid Koulibaly bidding war with Man Utd'
© Reuters
Manchester City are reportedly keen to avoid a bidding war with local rivals Manchester United over Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.

Manchester City are reportedly hopeful that local rivals Manchester United will publicly rule themselves out of the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli this summer.

The 29-year-old defender has been heavily linked with a big-money switch to the Premier League, and both Manchester clubs are thought to be near the front of the queue as they look for a new centre-back.

However, Napoli are thought to be holding out for a world-record fee for Koulibaly, and the Manchester Evening News reports that Man City fear that sum could climb even higher if United also pursue him.

The report claims that Napoli are in a strong bargaining position as they know how desperate Man City are to sign a new top-class centre-back and will also use their £40m signing of Nathan Ake as a measuring stick for their valuation of Koulibaly.

City have also slapped a £30m asking price on Eric Garcia after he refused a new contract, which Napoli will also use as context to put a price on their star defender.

Pep Guardiola is keen to bring in another new defender despite the signing of Ake, having seen Vincent Kompany's departure prove costly last season.

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Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly pictured in October 2019
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