Premier League • England

Todd Boehly instructs Chelsea to submit contract offer to Kalidou Koulibaly, as Napoli set asking price

Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly

New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has reportedly told club officials to send Kalidou Koulibaly a contract offer, with the Napoli star set to become a free agent next summer.

Koulibaly has long been linked with a Premier League move. The centre-back has only played in France, Belgium and Italy before, so it would be good to see him move to an English club.

Manchester United are long-term admirers of Koulibaly. But despite plenty of transfer rumours, the Red Devils have never made an official approach to sign him.

Chelsea also hold an interest, according to reports. They have more need for a central defender than United as Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger are leaving.

Like United, the Blues have never come in with a bid for Senegal international Koulibaly. But that could be about to change.

According to Football Italia, who cite Gazzetta dello Sport, Boehly has told Chelsea to offer Koulibaly a contract.

It is worth around £8.5million a season, which equates to just over £163,000 per week.

This will give the defender some serious thinking to do as Napoli are in discussions about extending his contract at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli talks falter

Their talks aren’t going too well as Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis wants to reduce his annual earnings from £5.1m to £3.4m. This would be understandable if Koulibaly was at the end of his career, but he is 30 and still has a few years left at the top level.

With a new deal at Napoli looking unlikely, the Italian club are willing to let him leave this summer.

The report claims they will ask for £34m. Koulibaly has previously been valued at £100m, but his age means this isn’t a reasonable fee anymore.

£34m is an achievable sum for Chelsea. However, their new owners want to invest intelligently and signing a younger centre-half could be a better move.

Matthijs de Ligt, Jules Kounde and Wesley Fofana are all options for Thomas Tuchel’s side. They are all below 23 and therefore have plenty of time to emerge into world-class defenders.

While Chelsea have made moves to bring Koulibaly to England, it might be better for them to go for a transfer option with bags of potential instead.

Meanwhile, a report has suggested Chelsea are over-confident about the future of Reece James and this could see Manchester City bid for him.