Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have won the race to sign highly-rated Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, after the Senegalese international decided to call time on his career at the Italian side.
According to a report in the Mirror, Koulibaly has failed to reach an agreement with the Serie A side, and will now pursue a move to West London.
Chelsea are set to sign defender Kalidou Koulibaly after agreeing a deal worth £30 million with Napoli. [Mirror]
— Transfer Digest (@TransferDigest) July 3, 2016
Chelsea have been in the market for a new centre-back since last summer, with former boss Jose Mourinho making several attempts to lure Everton defender John Stones to Stamford Bridge.
With John Terry taking a reduced deal to remain with the Blues, and Gary Cahill’s form questionable, the Mirror report that the incoming Conte is keen to build his defence around the 25-year-old Senegalese.
Koulibaly, who Maradona claimed would be a Real Madrid player if he was white will move on from the Serie A side after making 60 appearances for Napoli over the course of two successful years in Italy.
It is reported that the deal will be officially confirmed once the player agrees a severance package with the Italian side.
The Premier League side are believed to have been attempting to finalise a move for the defender since May, however image rights complications have seen the move scuppered as Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has dug his heels in.
It would now appear that a move to the four-time Premier League champions is close, with the Stamford Bridge outfit seemingly beating rivals Arsenal and former boss Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United to the defender’s signature.
A move to West London could see Koulibaly form a long term partnership with the youthful Kurt Zouma, who is currently on the sidelines returning from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.