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Chelsea most interested in signing Kalidou Koulibaly

Chelsea are one of the most interested clubs in signing Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, Corriere dello Sport (today’s edition, page 17) claims.

The Blues are expected to bolster their central defensive options this summer with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen set to leave at the expiry of their contracts on June 30.

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol have recently been highlighted as top targets for Chelsea, but Corriere dello Sport report that Koulibaly is also on their radar.

The Senegal international has been long linked with a move away from Naples, and it is claimed that a fee of around £34 million could be sufficient to secure his services this summer.

Chelsea and Barcelona are reportedly the most interested clubs in signing him during the upcoming transfer window, but Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also mentioned.

Koulibaly will enter the final year of his contract at Napoli in July. He has no plans of renewing after being offered a five-year contract with a 50 per cent pay-cut on his current wages.

Our view:

Koulibaly has been a long-term target for Chelsea. He was first on their radar in the summer of 2016 when Antonio Conte was the head coach.

Thiago Silva Chelsea

They have since been linked with him annually, and it remains to be seen whether they attempt to sign the 30-year-old in the next transfer window.

Koulibaly is regarded as one of the best central defenders in Serie A, having excelled with his tackling, aerial ability and knack for clearing his lines.

Despite being 30, he is playing at the top of the game and could be a clever purchase for Chelsea as he provides experience and leadership qualities.

The west London giants did not think twice about landing Thiago Silva when the opportunity arose in 2020. The 37-year-old has been their best defender.

Koulibaly could have a similar impact under manager Thomas Tuchel and can be seen as an upgrade on outbound stars Rudiger and Christensen.

The only stumbling block could be the salary package. With widespread interest, the centre-back may want a significant hike on his €6 million annual wages.

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