Manchester United are now leading the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli this summer.

That’s according to La Repubblica, who say United have moved ahead of rivals Manchester City, with both clubs trying to sign the 28-year-old.

The newspaper explains that the defender’s farewell ‘has already begun’ with him set to leave Naples after six years at the club.

Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis will not oppose his departure this time as he knows the player’s current €7m a year in wages are ‘unsustainable’ if they fail to qualify for next year’s Champions League.

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It now remains to be seen which of the Manchester clubs win the race, although United are ‘clearly ahead’ of their rivals at this moment in time.

Thus a sale is likely if the offer is ‘up to Napoli’s expectations’, with De Laurentiis counting on making a ‘capital gain’ on a player they signed for €8.5m.

Manchester United are willing to offer ‘ten times more’ in the summer, and this time it should be ‘enough’ to get a deal done.

Koulibaly is also ready to make the move and knows he has reached a ‘decisive crossroads’ in his career after several years in Italy where he has consistently been one of the league’s better players.

The suggestion is that he is ready to move on this summer, meaning there is a deal ready to be done for Manchester United on all fronts should they want to pursue it.