Chelsea have opened bidding for Napoli’s Koulibaly with an offer of £19.2million.
Kalidou Koulibaly after having a very successful season with Napoli, has garnered a lot of interest in the Premier League. The 24-year-old defender has been strongly linked with Chelsea and the London club has launched an official bid. According to a report in the Express, Chelsea have made a £19.2 million bid for the Napoli defender with news also coming in that Manchester United are prepared to out-bid Chelsea for Koulibaly’s signature.
Chelsea are on the lookout for a versatile central defender as strengthening their ageing back-line has been a priority for them for more than a year. After seeing the John Stones deal run into an impasse, Chelsea have had to adjust its transfer strategy of landing a marquee defender.
Rising interests from clubs like Man City and Barcelona have diminished Chelsea’s chances of landing Stones, since they have no European football to offer for next season. Napoli’s Koulibaly, on the other hand, is not only more affordable compared to Everton’s £45 million asking price for Stones, but the Senegalese defender may even do away with Champions league football for one season, in order to join the London club.
Manchester United, however, are reportedly ready to offer £20.8 million to Napoli which is still lesser than the £30 million transfer fee set by the club.
Chelsea need to quickly wrap up their major transfer signings before August
Last season Chelsea, the defending champions, were left badly exposed due to their fragile defence and many believe that the Senegalese could be the answer to their woes. Chelsea would want to buy the players they want as soon as Euro 2016 and Copa America finish, so that the squad can get back together for a decent pre-season run.
It is also very important that from the onset of the arrival of Antonio Conte, the members of the Chelsea squad are given enough time to adjust and adapt to the Italian’s way of playing. A player like Koulibaly having already played two seasons in Serie A would prove to be a useful asset for Conte.
Manchester United, on the other hand, have struggled to find their best defensive formation for the past few seasons. Their defence has been hampered with injuries to first choice defenders, lack of a consistent back four, and a sound tactical plan from the previous manager, Louis van Gaal.
Jose Mourinho seems to have prioritized improving United’s defence and will look to strengthen his defensive options further after signing the Ivorian Eric Bailly from Villareal. The tussle for the signature for Koulibaly is increasing and it’ll be a tough call to make for the Senegalese when two giants in English football come knocking on his door.