Kalidou Koulibaly could become an option for Chelsea within their summer defensive revolution, a report in Italy has claimed.
Chelsea are set to lose Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers at the end of June. There are also doubts about the future of club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, despite a contract extension clause.
Until a change of ownership, Chelsea cannot negotiate new deals with their players or discuss transfers with other clubs. But there is hope they will be able to function normally in time for the summer transfer window.
It will be an important one, especially with the rear-guard of their team in mind. They could be left with limited options – Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr, plus potentially some returning loanees – without entering the market.
With that in mind, the agent of Napoli defender Koulibaly has reportedly offered his client to the club.
That’s according to Area Napoli, who suggest the Senegal international could be sold this summer, one year before his contract at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona expires.
In turn, his agent, Fali Ramadani, is looking for potential destinations for the 30-year-old. Given Chelsea’s potential shortage of centre-backs, he has identified them as an option.
Furthermore, he is aware they would be able to invest heavily in a wage package once they are cleared to do so.
How Chelsea would respond remains to be seen. Likewise, Koulibaly’s stance is not yet known.
Napoli have supposedly decided to listen to offers in the region of €35million for the defender (just under £30m). Alternatively, they will seek a contract renewal to keep him in Serie A for the rest of his career.
But if Chelsea are willing to pay, they could be the ones to finally prise Koulibaly away from Naples.
Chelsea to give Koulibaly deserved Prem chance?
Koulibaly has been with Napoli since 2014, often attracting interest from major clubs. However, the Serie A side have done well to keep him this long. Likewise, his loyalty to them deserves respect.
Now in the twilight of his career, there may always be a question of what he would have been capable of elsewhere. Yet the ship may not have sailed.
Although he has no Premier League experience, Koulibaly is an elite defender. Chelsea would find it worthwhile looking into the chance to sign him more.
Whether a £30m investment would be worth it at this stage or not is another matter. But they will need guarantees in their defence and Koulibaly can provide them.