Transfer News: Chelsea suffer major blow in their pursuit of Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly
Chelsea have been handed a major blow in their pursuit of Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. The 31-year-old Senegal international had been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, after it was reported by Area Napoli via Sport Witness (h/t football.london), that his agent Fali Ramadani had offered the centre-back to Thomas Tuchel.
The Blues were said to be one the top-flight clubs in Europe chasing after the defender, including Barcelona and Juventus. But Napoli’s director Cristian Giantuli has said that there were no bids from any club and that the 31-year-old is a key player for them.
“Koulibaly is key player for us. There’s no bid from any club. We’ve offered him new deal for €6m net salary per season plus a future role as part of the board. Koulibaly deserves it all… We didn’t need to tell Koulibaly that we’re not selling him to Juventus – because we consider Koulibaly untouchable and non-transferrable.”
This will come as a major blow to Tuchel, who has been in the market looking for options to bolster his defence for next season. The Senegal international would have been a fine addition, but now that seems very unlikely to happen.
Koulibaly joined Napoli in 2014 from KRC Genk. Since his move, he has gone from strength to strength in every season and has established himself as one of the best defenders in Serie A and perhaps the world. A colossal figure at the back, he is not someone attackers hope to see when they are driving the ball forward.
The Italian league is known for producing hard-rock defenders and Koulibaly is definitely on that list. He would have made a fine addition to Chelsea after their centre-back duo of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen departed from the club last month.
Apart from being a fantastic centre-back, he is also a leader. He led his country to their first Africa Cup of Nations when Senegal beat Egypt 4-2 on penalties and lifted the cup. Not only that, their victory meant that his country would be travelling to Qatar in November for the World Cup.
But with Giantuli’s comments, it has now become very difficult for Tuchel to land the player. The Blues are better off signing a centre-back with more years left under their belt as a professional footballer.
Koulibaly isn’t old but he isn’t getting any younger either. It will be interesting to see what happens with the player this season. If the defender leaves, Chelsea fans will hope it is for Stamford Bridge.
More Chelsea News:
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- Transfer News: Barcelona move for Cesar Azpilicueta not imminent
He would have made for a quality addition to our team given his experience and aggression in defence. We need someone to lead the backline after Antonio Rudiger’s departure but from what it looks like right now, the Senegalese captain may not be that man.
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