Chelsea have completed the signing of centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly on a four-year deal from Serie A side Napoli for a reported fee of £33.8million.
The 31-year-old Senegal international moved to Naples from Genk in 2014 and made 317 appearances for the Italian side. But he now becomes Thomas Tuchel’s arrival as the German bolsters his defence.
Koulibaly’s signing follows the departures of defenders Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona, both on free transfers.
“I’m very happy to be here with this team at Chelsea,” said Koulibaly.
“It’s a big team in the world and my dream was always to play in the Premier League. Chelsea came first to get me in 2016 but we didn’t make it. Now when they came to me I accepted it because they really wanted me to come to the Premier League to play for them.
“When I spoke to my good friends Edou [Mendy] and Jorginho they made my choice easier.”
Koulibaly made his senior debut for Senegal back in September 2015 and has since earned 62 caps. He captained the team to victory at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
He becomes Chelsea‘s second signing since the Todd Boehly-led takeover after Raheem Sterling joined the club in a £50m deal.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 16, 2022
Boehly thrilled with Koulibaly capture
Boehly said: “Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the world’s elite defenders. We are delighted to be welcoming him to Chelsea.
“A great leader and an exemplary team player, Kalidou brings a wealth of experience and attributes that will benefit our squad and the club as a whole.”
There was talk the Blues were looking to include two players as part of a swap for the big defender.
The duo were named as Armando Broja and Kepa Arrizabalaga but that has not transpired.
Koulibably’s capture has, however, ended Chelsea’s interest in bringing Nathan Ake back to Stamford Bridge.
The Manchester City star was being tipped to head back to London but that is now highly unlikely to happen.