The Serie A outfit have set their sights on the 22-year-old Frenchman after heavy speculation regarding Koulibaly’s future

Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly has been a subject of interest from host of European giants, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich said to be among his keenest admirers. Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis had even revealed they rejected a €58 million bid from Chelsea in the summer.

However, the Italian club are resigned to losing Kalidou Koulibaly sooner rather than later, and as such have set the wheels in motion to identify a replacement for the Senegalese defender. One such target has in-fact turned out to be from Chelsea, with Kurt Zouma being the identified player, according to Italian outlet Sport Mediaset (h/t Calciomercato).

The reports suggest Napoli are contemplating for a move for Kurt Zouma in the upcoming winter transfer window itself as Kalidou Koulibaly will be not available due to international commitments for African Cup of Nations in the months of January and February.

SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND- October 31: Kurt Zouma of Chelsea looks on during the Premier League 2 match between Everton U21s and Chelsea U21s at Haig Avenue Stadium on October 31, 2016 in Southport, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND- October 31: Kurt Zouma of Chelsea looks on during the Premier League 2 match between Everton U21s and Chelsea U21s at Haig Avenue Stadium on October 31, 2016 in Southport, England. (Photo courtesy – Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Kurt Zouma had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament rupture in his right knee in February 2016, but has recently recovered, appearing for Chelsea U21s in what was his first competitive game in almost nine months.

In his long-term injury absence, new manager Antonio Conte re-signed David Luiz to shore up the defence, and the Brazilian has since gone on to establish himself as one of the undisputed choices on the team sheet, which may have made Napoli to consider for an approach for Zouma.

While Chelsea have been linked with various defenders, with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly being one of them, it is said manager Antonio Conte rates Kurt Zouma quite highly and the young defender is part of his long-term plans, outlined by the fact that he rejected an offer from Schalke of acquiring Kurt Zouma on loan in the summer.

It does look like Napoli may have to look elsewhere for a potential replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly.

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