Napoli raise offer to secure contract-rebel Kalidou Koulibaly amid Chelsea interest
Napoli have seemingly offered star defender Kalidou Koulibaly a revised and improved offer to renew his contract, which is due to expire next year. Chelsea are aware of the situation and have identified the Senegalese as one of their top defensive targets for this transfer window.
With only 12 months remaining on his deal, the Blues are in a position to force a cut-price deal. Discussions have been ongoing between Koulibaly and Napoli over a new contract, but a resolution so far has proved elusive.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football.London), Napoli plan to offer the 30-year-old an improved contract with €3.5million euros in annual salary plus bonuses. However, Koulibaly is in no rush to make a decision.
Having arrived from KRC Genk in 2014, Koulibaly has now spent an incredible eight years in Naples and has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world during his time in the Italian peninsula.
Koulibaly has attracted attention from not just Chelsea, but Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain too. That leaves him with a plethora of top clubs to choose from and is understandably in no hurry.
The Senegalese defender wants to listen to all offers, so the advantage is likely to be in the hands of the club that makes the first significant approach- or the one that offers him terms that appeal to him more.
Is Koulibaly the next priority after Kounde?
It most definitely seems that way. Chelsea are believed to be frontrunners for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, but the Blues still need another defender – an out-and-out world-class centre-back.
Following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, Chelsea’s depth in defence appears to be razor-thin. They have the privilege of having a world-class centre-back in Thiago Silva but at 37 years of age, it would be rather foolish to expect him to play 60+ games during a season.
While Kounde can play anywhere on the right-hand side of the defence in both a back three and a back four, Koulibaly is one of the best central defenders in Italy. Both together and the perfect mix of Koulibaly’s veteran experience and Kounde’s exciting potential, Thomas Tuchel will have a solid foundation to build his tactics on.
More Chelsea News:
- Chelsea confident of signing Jules Kounde transfer amid Barcelona links
- Chelsea shirt sponsor Three resume suspended partnership under Todd Boehly-ownership
- Transfer News: Chelsea and Inter Milan continue to plot Romelu Lukaku exit plan
However, there is still a long way to go for Chelsea in these negotiations. UEFA Champions League winners in 2021, Koulibaly would know he is joining a team with a winning mentality if he comes to SW6. But occasionally, just the promise of competing for silverware isn’t enough to seal the deal.
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