KEY POINTS

  • Manchester United could miss out on Jadon Sancho after Borussia Dortmund announced his contract renewal
  • United has turned its sights on Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly
  • Koulibaly has been repeatedly linked to a move away from Napoli

Manchester United is on the brink of losing top prospect Jadon Sancho after Borussia Dortmund announced the extension of his contract. However, the Red Devils are already eyeing a move for another expensive prospect: Kalidou Koulibaly.

After months of courting Sancho, United may still end up missing out on the sensational winger. Michael Zorc, Borussia Dortmund's sporting director, had shut down rumors of Sancho leaving the Bundesliga club.

But given United’s persistent desire to land a big signing this summer, sources revealed that the club is now looking at Napoli star defender Koulibaly as its next top target, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

United’s initial bid for Koulibaly is expected to be around €70 million ($82 million), an amount that “cannot be refused” by Napoli, the report said. This makes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side the frontrunner to land the world-class defender.

Should no other club attempt to make a bid and if no “new negotiations” are held, then Koulibaly will “eventually move to England,” the report added.

Napoli is said to have lost around €180 million ($211 million) between January and July. With time not in its favor, the Serie A club needs to bring in no less than €150 million ($176 million) before the transfer window closes.

This has given United a boost in its pursuit of Koulibaly, a top prospect who has often been linked to an exit from the Italian side.

This comes as Zorc revealed in a recent presser that Sancho had extended his contract with Dortmund until 2023, stating, "We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season. The decision is final. I think that answers all our questions."

Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli Photo: Getty Images | Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images

Meanwhile, sources told ESPN that United had grown frustrated with the slow pace of negotiations for Sancho’s deal, Dortmund's demands and having third-party agent Marco Lichtsteiner, brother of former Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, as a middleman.

United sources found it “unusual” for Dortmund to hire Lichtsteiner to conduct the talks, Manchester Evening News reported.

Prior to Dortmund’s announcement regarding its plan to extend Sancho's contract, reports pointed to a move to United as a nearly done deal. In fact, transfer window insider Ian McGarry said it is believed that Sancho was already “in daily contact” with some Manchester United players on WhatsApp.