Chelsea to bounce back from potential De Ligt miss by usurping Juventus offer for successor

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Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt Credit: PA Images
Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt Credit: PA Images

Although they may miss out on signing Matthijs de Ligt, Chelsea could yet deliver a blow to Juventus by usurping their offer for their ideal replacement for the Dutchman, Kalidou Koulibaly.

That’s according to La Repubblica, who are the latest source to suggest Chelsea could make a move for Napoli centre-half Koulibaly. The Senegal international is in the final year of his contract; he is also being targeted by Juventus as a De Ligt successor.

Chelsea have been showing an interest in both players amid their need to replace Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. The pair have left on free transfers for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

However, it appears the Blues are no longer the frontrunners for De Ligt. Instead, he could leave Juventus for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

In turn, Chelsea could be battling with Juventus for Koulibaly. He would be cheaper and fairly accessible given his contract status.

Per La Repubblica, it could be Chelsea who win the race. They are reportedly willing to offer the 31-year-old an annual salary of €9.5m (more than £150,000 per week).

In contrast, Juventus – who also need to replace departed legend Giorgio Chiellini – have only been planning to give him terms worth €6.5m per season. In English money, that would be about £50,000 per week lower than Chelsea’s planned offer.

Therefore, Chelsea could be the leading candidates to sign Koulibaly. It also helps that Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is reluctant to do business with their Serie A rivals up in Turin.

Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly Credit: PA Images
Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly Credit: PA Images

Interestingly, La Repubblica note that Juventus are already looking at alternatives to the French-born ace. They have their eyes on Lazio’s veteran Italy international Francesco Acerbi.

As for Chelsea’s pursuit of Koulibaly, De Laurentiis has set an asking price of €40m (£33.8m) for the former Metz man. Although seemingly high for a player in the twilight of his career, Koulibaly remains an elite operator.

Koulibaly more consistent than De Ligt

Although some would prefer Chelsea to go for the younger option, Koulibaly would give them more guarantees than De Ligt.

The Dutchman initially struggled to adapt to Serie A after his 2019 move from Ajax. He has recovered his form somewhat since, but there are no guarantees he would hit the ground running in the Premier League.

Koulibaly has never played in English football either. However, he has built up plenty of experience over the years and would be a composed presence at the back.

There are still a few years left in the tank for the African ace. So perhaps he could turn out to be the better deal anyway.

READ MORE: Barcelona mobilise on two Chelsea deals including Azpilicueta, as third Blues star becomes subject of Boehly plan

The article Chelsea to bounce back from potential De Ligt miss by usurping Juventus offer for successor appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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