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De Laurentiis: “If Maguire costs €93m, Koulibaly is €250m”


Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis stated that if Manchester United value Harry Maguire at €93m, then Kalidou Koulibaly is worth €250m.

Maguire became the most expensive defender of all-time when he completed an £80m (€86m) transfer from Leicester City to United this week.

The England international’s arrival at Old Trafford ended the club’s long search for a new centre-back. In fact, one of their rumoured targets was none other than Napoli star Koulibaly.

Since joining from Genk in 2014, the 27-year-old has established himself as one of the world’s finest defenders. He’s even played a big role in converting the lowly Napoli into Juventus’ prime challengers for the Serie A crown.

Plenty of suitors have, therefore, been queuing up with De Laurentiis confirming he rejected a €105m offer for Koulibaly in January from an unnamed club.

Ultimately, though, United went for Maguire instead of pursuing their interest in Koulibaly this summer.

But De Laurentiis has no doubts over who is the better player between Koulibaly and Maguire.

The Italian film producer didn’t mince his words either when it came to the big-spenders in the English transfer market.

“The problem of the cost of players is from England because they gross the most amount of money, more than Spain, Italy, France and Germany,” De Laurentiis told ESPN.

“If a club grosses £800m, he has no problem to offer £80-90m for one player. There is not a real and fair competition between England and other countries.”

He added: “Koulibaly has a release clause of €150m.

“In England, you know, they can spend €93m on a player that I would pay a maximum of €25-30m for. So, if Maguire costs €93m, then Koulibaly is worth €250m?”

Maguire could make his United debut on Sunday in their Premier League opener against Chelsea at Old Trafford.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Harry Maguire of Leicester City.