Kalidou Koulibaly finally bound for the Premier League, as Chelsea near superstar signing for eye-catching fee

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

Chelsea are in talks to sign Kalidou Koulibaly and a trusted source claims a deal for a fraction of his asking price in recent years is close.

The Blues are known to be on the hunt for reinforcements at centre-back this summer. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have both left as free agents.

Nathan Ake remains a contender to fill the Rudiger void on the left of Thomas Tuchel’s back three. On the right, Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt was a target.

However, the Dutchman is valued around the £76m mark and competition is being provided by Bayern Munich. What’s more, Bayern chief, Hasan Salihamidzic, has already travelled to Turin to discuss a move.

Alternatives for the right side include Jules Kounde, though trusted Italian source, Gianluca Di Marzio, put Koulibaly front and centre.

His website claimed Koulibaly’s agent had entered talks with Chelsea. Napoli may finally be willing to let the Senegalese leave this summer with his contract due to expire in 2023.

If Koulibaly refuses to pen fresh terms, cashing in this summer is the logical choice.

Now, the Athletic’s David Ornstein has taken it a step further.

He confirmed talks are underway and claimed a breakthrough is understood to be close.

If signed, Koulibaly would pen a ‘long-term’ contract and arrive for a fee in the region of £34m.

While that may sound high for a player who is already 31, it is a fraction of the price Napoli had quoted suitors as recently as last year.

Figures in the range of £60m-£80m have been touted alongside a Koulibaly transfer in recent times. Clearly, his contract status has forced Napoli to adjust their demands.

What would Koulibaly bring?

Koulibaly can legitimately stake a claim to being one of the world’s best centre-backs since joining Napoli in 2014. Perhaps one reason why he is not talked about more is the fact he plays for Napoli who are often the bridesmaid in Italy.

Regardless, Koulibaly is a colossus in the air and will give even the most physical of strikers a rough day at the office.

He was named in four consecutive Serie A teams of the season between 2015-19 and was named the league’s best defender in the 18/19 campaign.

At 31, Chelsea fans may have reservations. However, Thiago Silva has proved age can be overcome in the right system and Tuchel’s back three has worked wonders for the Brazilian. There is little to suggest it won’t do the same for Koulibaly.

The article Kalidou Koulibaly finally bound for the Premier League, as Chelsea near superstar signing for eye-catching fee appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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