Manchester United had a world-record fee for a defender turned down by Napoli when they bid for Kalidou Koulibaly.
“[Jose] Mourinho wanted him, we rejected £95 million,” De Laurentiis said. “But now it’s impossibile that he leaves Napoli.”
Discussing Koulibaly’s future, De Laurentiis told reporters: “We are more than capable of developing top players and keeping them too. When they offer £95m for a centre-back, that is a figure that has never been offered before, it means this is a top player.”
“When we had Gonzalo Higuain who scored all those goals with Rafa Benitez and [Maurizio] Sarri, even though he missed some penalties and skipped the Champions League for a season, we had top players,” De Laurentiis said.
“When I hear lies like ‘there are no top players at Napoli,’ it drives me crazy. Was Edinson Cavani not a top player? Signing a second striker like Dries Mertens into a centre-forward who scores 30 goals, getting a talent like Arkadiusz Milik who had two serious injuries and still performs at the highest level… it means we Neapolitans like to complain.”
Jose’s reign at Manchester United came to an end recently and one of his biggest final regrets was the inability to bring in a new player at the backline.