Kalidou Koulibaly : Chelsea’s next target

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel keen to strengthen at centre-back after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers; Kalidou Koulibaly has one year remaining on his Napoli contract; 31-year-old is a team-mate of Edouard Mendy with Senegal

Michael Bridge gives us the latest details of the news that Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal to sign Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.

Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal with Napoli to sign Senegal centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly as they look to rebuild their defence for next season, according to Sky in Italy.

The deal is expected to be closed on Wednesday for a fee of between £32m (€38m) and £33.7m (€40m).

The central defender, who has 62 caps for Senegal, is also expected to be offered a five-year contract worth around £160,000 per week (£8.2m a year) net plus bonuses to move to Stamford Bridge.

As Chelsea step up their interest in Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, we take a look at some of his key moments for Senegal during their Africa Cup of Nations triumph this February

Koulibaly, who was also interesting Juventus, has just one year left on his Napoli contract.

Napoli held their first open training session of the summer in front of fans on Tuesday evening, however, Koulibaly was not present.

The Blues lost Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona this summer – both on free transfers – leaving Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr as the only senior centre-backs in Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

Koulibaly, 31, has made over 300 appearances for the Serie A club since joining from Belgian side Genk eight years ago, being named in the Serie A team of the year on four occasions, as well as being named the best defender in Italy in 2019.

As well as Koulibaly, Chelsea have an interest in Manchester City’s Nathan Ake, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol and Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe.

The Blues are also keen on Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt, but he reportedly favours a move to Bayern Munich.

Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling is set to become Chelsea’s first signing since the consortium led by Todd Boehly completed its takeover of the club. The City forward underwent a medical on Sunday ahead of his £47.5m move to Stamford Bridge.

‘This could be last chance for Napoli to cash in’

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