Chelsea given Kalidou Koulibaly boost as Napoli boss addresses transfer bid

Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures

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Chelsea have been given a boost in their attempts to prise Kalidou Koulibaly away from Napoli after the Italian club’s manager Luciano Spalletti addressed the Blues’ transfer bid. Koulibaly looks set to quit Serie A ahead of the new season and move to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are desperate for new centre-backs after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen earlier this summer when their contracts expired. The west Londoners have been linked with the likes of Juventus genius Matthijs de Ligt, Sevilla ace Jules Kounde and Manchester City star Nathan Ake during the current transfer window. But it appears they have settled for Koulibaly for now.

Koulibaly has built a formidable reputation as one of the best defenders in Italy since signing for Napoli from Belgian side Genk in 2014 and has been tipped to move to the Premier League for years.

And Spalletti appears to be resigned to losing the defender after admitting he would thank the ace if he does decide to leave. “I prefer Koulibaly to be with us always, especially as he would be captain this season,” the 63-year-old said during a Q&A with Napoli fans on Instagram. “If he chooses to leave, we will never stop thanking him for all the help he has given us. If he wants to choose something else, we wish him all the best because he deserves it.”


According to the Daily Mail, an agreement to sign the player is looking likely, with Chelsea putting an offer of £34million of the table. Blues owner Todd Boehly is also understood to have spoken to Koulibaly’s agent on Monday. And the player himself reportedly addressed the transfer rumours by saying: “I’ll confirm that later, but it’s on the right track.”

Koulibaly signed his most recent contract with Napoli in 2018. But that deal is set to expire next summer. And at the age of 31, Napoli chiefs finally appear ready to cash in on the ace after long-term interest from a whole host of top clubs.

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Koulibaly will bring a wealth of experience to the Chelsea backline if he does put pen-to-paper on a deal at Stamford Bridge, having racked-up 317 appearances for his current employers. During his time in Naples, he has lifted the Italian Cup and has played 26 times in the Champions League. And he won the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal earlier this year.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will be desperate to get the deal over the line as soon as he can as he prepares for the 2022/23 campaign. The Blues finished third in the Premier League last time out and were beaten by Liverpool in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals.

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