Senegalese center back Kalidou Koulibaly could be on the verge of making the move to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea. The Napoli man is one of the most highly sought after central defenders in Europe and has been on the short list of many major European clubs this summer.
However, after weeks of rumors linking the defender with a move to the Premier League, Koulibaly’s agent, Bruno Satin, has confirmed that talks are already underway with Chelsea and Everton. “I was in Dimaro on Saturday and we discussed a contract renewal. However, we are not at the point of reaching an agreement. The desire of the player is to leave the club, not renew. We are told by the club that he is a great player but from the renewal on offer, we don’t see this,” Satin said when speaking to Napoli’s official radio station. “Last year they wanted to sell him, stating he was not focused enough, but then last season he has shown all his quality. To the fans I say stay calm because he won’t be joining Juventus. Chelsea and Everton are still interested as they are both searching for a central defender of his quality.”
A move for Koulibaly would make a lot of sense for the Blues, with John Terry having slowed down in recent years and Kurt Zouma likely being too inexperienced, Conte is in the market for a center back to partner Gary Cahill in the starting lineup.
After a slow first year in Naples, Koulibaly had a breakout 2015-16 season and earned himself a spot in the 2016 Serie A Team of the Year. Koulibaly made 33 appearances for Napoli in the league last year and helped his side keep an impressive 15 clean sheets and concede only 32 goals (the second fewest in the league). The center back would certainly bring a lot of strength and power to the Chelsea backline and would help the Blues form a solid defensive unit.
Having already signed Belgian starlet Michy Matshuayi and defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante, Chelsea are really setting themselves up to become strong title contenders next season. With Antonio Conte now at the helm, Chelsea will certainly not be the same disappointing and uninspiring side they were last season.