Chelsea, Napoli reach agreement for €40m Koulibaly

by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

  • He undergoes medical on Thursday

English Premier League side, Chelsea have reached an agreement with Napoli for centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, The Trumpet gathered.

Chelsea are in dire need of defensive reinforcement after the exit of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger on the expiration of their contracts to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

The west London club have been shopping for replacements for the duo, scooping the Italian topflight clubs with Matthijs de Ligt of Juventus and Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan all linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

Although head coach Thomas Tuchel is desperate to have capable fresh legs in his defensive guard, the asking price and conditions set by Italian clubs for their top defenders have allayed Chelsea’s agitation for Juventus De Ligt.

However, despite the hitches, the Blues have been able to reach an agreement with Napoli for the Senegalese defender in a deal reported with circa €40m on Tuesday.

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In a recent development, Sky Sports Italia said that Koulibaly is set to fly to London tomorrow to undergo his medical.

The 31-year-old will leave Italy through a private flight today after agreeing verbally to €10m per season earnings to complete the permanent switch to Stamford Bridge.

However, according to Napoli’s official radio, the club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis is angry with Koulibaly and his agent Ramadani for honouring the move to Chelsea.

Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth, this is the last chance for Napoli to cash in for Koulibaly.

He said, “I think we’ve been talking about Kalidou Koulibaly coming to the Premier League for the last 64 transfer windows! He’s 31 years old now and he’s entered the final year of his contract at Napoli, so maybe this is the time for Napoli. If they are going to get any money for him and he’s not going to sign a new contract – then probably this is the summer to sell.

“Chelsea want to sign central defenders. Antonio Rudiger, he honoured his contract and is now a Real Madrid player on a free transfer. Andreas Christiansen did the same and now he’s at Barcelona. There’s still question marks as well about Cesar Azpilicueta and there are other defenders like Marcos Alonso as well. Thiago Silva might have turned up at pre-season training and thought, ‘where all the central defenders?’

“But Kalidou Koulibaly is one that they are interested in. They’re in talks. Juventus are also interested in Koulibaly as well. That could be as a potential replacement for Matthijs de Ligt, who is being linked with Chelsea as well.

“Another player who Chelsea are pushing to sign is their former defender Nathan Ake. We think that talks are continuing with Manchester City over that one,” he added.

The Trumpet reports that should Koulibaly completes his medical on Thursday, he will become the second player to move to Chelsea after the Todd Boehly consortium bought over the club in May.

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