Chelsea backed to complete transfer after Marina Granovskaia phone call claim

Chelsea need to sign a leader like Kalidou Koulibaly, according to former West Ham midfielder Don Hutchison. Koulibaly has been heavily linked with a move away from Napoli this summer. Reports in recent days claim Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has spoken to the defender’s agent on the phone.

Manchester City remain favourites to sign the Senegal international, with Manchester United also rumoured to be interested in a deal.

But Hutchison believes Koulibaly is exactly the type of player Frank Lampard needs at Chelsea.

“With Koulibaly, he’d strengthen any centre-back [pairing],” Hutchison told ESPN FC.

“I think he is the best in the world, he’s ridiculously strong.

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“Chelsea need a leader, they’ve got decent centre-halves there but they just need someone who’s just going to command everyone and pull everyone in and be defensively solid.

“So, Koulibaly would be the first port of call obviously.”

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Koulibaly, 29, has spent the last six years at Napoli, making almost 250 appearances for the Italian club.

Chelsea are in the market for defenders this summer, at both centre-back and left-back.

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City outcast John Stones and Brighton captain Lewis Dunk are two of the names who have been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino is a fan of Dunk and believes he deserves a move to a top club in the Premier League.

“He’s not just a brute that wins headers, he’s a fine footballer,” Cascarino said on talkSPORT.

“If you said to me, of the bottom half of the table who I think is the very best centre-half, I think it’s him.

“His consistency over a number of seasons has been brilliant. His partnership with Shane Duffy before was exceptional.

“He’s moved from a two to a three and he’s done really well in the three as well, they’ve got [Adam] Webster there.

“[Brighton] are a side who have changed their backline so he’s capable of playing not only in a back-four but a back-five, allowing the full-backs to push on, so I think Dunk is well capable and I think he will have that move and because of his level of performance I think he’s owed a chance to play for a top-six club because he’s good enough.”

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