Sir Alex Ferguson was keen for Manchester United to sign Kalidou Koulibaly (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson met with Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly last summer to discuss a move to Old Trafford, according to stunning reports in Italy.

The Senegal international has been on United’s radar for a number of years and was wanted by Jose Mourinho as far back as 2017.

United signed Harry Maguire in a deal worth £80m last summer that saw the England international become the most expensive defender of all-time.

However, Foot Mercato claim that Koulibaly was United’s first choice and Ferguson was dispatched to speak to the defender in order to persuade him to move to the Theatre of Dreams.

Koulibaly was interested in a move to Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

Ferguson, who still retains power at United, was eager for the club to sign Koulibaly but a move failed to materialise due to Napoli’s £95m valuation of the defender.

That led to United moving for Maguire instead and the England star has since been named club captain following the departure of Ashley Young to Inter Milan.

But there may be an opportunity for United to rectify that this summer as Napoli have since lowered the asking price for Koulibaly.

The cash-strapped Serie A club are now said to be willing to accept a fee of around £65m for the defender but United are likely to face competition from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Maguire account for more than half of United’s spending last summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer failed to sign a creative midfielder or a striker to replace Romelu Lukaku.

He wants to rectify that this month by signing Sporting Lisbon ace Bruno Fernandes but the two teams remain a significant distance apart in their valuations of the attacker.

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