Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has criticised Manchester United for forking out £80million to sign Harry Maguire – and believes Kalidou Koulibaly is worth triple that world-record fee.
The England defender signed a six-year contract, with the option of a further year, after United met Leicester’s demand for a world-record fee for a defender.
He is the club’s third signing of the summer after Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rebuilds his squad after last season’s frustrating sixth-placed finish in the Premier League.
The Premier League giants were desperate to bolster their defensive ranks this summer and had previously been linked with a move for Napoli centre-back Koulibaly, who has a £150m release clause.
And De Laurentiis is baffled by United’s decision to break the world record for a defender, and claimed his star man is worth £250m in today’s market.
“He (Koulibaly) has a clause of £150m,” he told ESPN . “But, for example, in England, they paid £85m for a player. In Napoli, I would pay £30-£35m.
“With that in mind, I think Koulibaly’s value is £250m if they paid that much for that guy.
“The problem of the super cost of the players is due to England. In England, they gross more money than in France, Spain, Italy and Germany.
“If a club grosses £800m, they have no problem to offer around £80m, £90m, £100m for one player. There is not a real good and fair competition between England and the other countries.”
Maguire, meanwhile, is convinced Manchester United have a bright future ahead after completing his £80m move to Old Trafford.
Speaking in an interview with United’s in-house media, Maguire said: “I’m really proud to be here.
“It’s such a big club and I’m really looking forward to getting started. I’m hoping it will be a successful season and I’ll give everything I’ve got for this club.
“It’s a young team now and we’ve got big ambitions for the future. From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team.
“It’s clear to see that Ole is building a team to win trophies.
“I think you’ve seen the players that we’ve brought in already this year. You can see they’re trying to build and improve on last season and I’m sure we’ll do that.”