Manchester United captain Harry Maguire “doesn’t come close” to Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, claims Serie A expert Conor Clancy.
Erik ten Hag’s side have been linked with the £40.5m-rated 30-year-old, with Clancy feeling that he was on Virgil van Dijk’s level not too long ago.
What is the latest news involving Koulibaly?
Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has made it clear that he does not want Koulibaly to leave the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium this summer.
“Koulibaly in my view is not for sale, just like last season when I threatened to chain myself to the gates if he was sold. I’m doing it again!” the 63-year-old said in a recent press conference (via Football Italia).
The above comes after reports suggested that Koulibaly’s agent Fali Ramadani is in talks with other clubs.
According to Area Napoli, Ramadani has been in contact with both United and Chelsea about a potential move for his client in the upcoming transfer window, though he has since denied those claims.
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What has Clancy said about Koulibaly and Maguire?
Clancy has told GIVEMESPORT that when it comes to Koulibaly and Maguire, it is not even a contest, with the former easily coming out on top.
Speaking to GMS, the Serie A expert said: “I don’t even want to mention his name in the same breath as Koulibaly because Koulibaly is in the tier of the very best in the world.
“Maybe two years ago, he was on that same level as Van Dijk. Now, I think he’s probably a bit behind Van Dijk, but in terms of comparing him to Harry Maguire, let’s not even entertain it because he doesn’t come close.”
How do Koulibaly and Maguire compare?
This season, Koulibaly and Maguire played around the same amount of games, with the former making 27 appearances in Serie A and the latter 30 in the Premier League (via WhoScored).
On average, Koulibaly made 1.4 tackles a match, while Maguire averaged 1.1. When it came to interceptions, both players recorded averages of 1.1.
Napoli’s star defender finished proceedings with a WhoScored rating of 7.08, which makes for much better reading than Maguire’s 6.65.
Overall, the 2021/22 campaign was a poor one for Maguire, who came in for heavy criticism for some of his performances.
With that in mind, then, perhaps the England international could do with a centre-back of Koulibaly’s pedigree coming in to support him in the United defence. And with his contract up next year, it does not seem impossible.
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