Chelsea and Everton will have to pay a staggering sum if they are to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly
According to Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror, Premier League duo of Chelsea and Everton will have to meet Napoli’s high asking rate for centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. They will also have to hope that the Serie A side can find a decent enough replacement so as to let him go.
The Frenchman was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge last summer as Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was an admirer of the player during his time in Italy. He also tabled a bid for the centre-back, but it was turned down by Napoli as they could not find a suitable option to fill in his boots.
Due to him not being able to sign the French defender, Conte opted to look elsewhere, and finally settled on bringing David Luiz back to the club. The Brazilian was way down the priority list for the Chelsea boss, but his signing has helped the Londoners to establish a four-point lead at the top of the table.
Luiz struggled playing in a back four with only one centre-back to support him, but has seen his load ease with a switch to a 3-4-3. Together with Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill, the former PSG man has formed a seamless understanding.
His two defensive partners focus on the defensive side of things while he focuses on playing the role of the water-carrier, linking the defence and the midfield. He has also looked extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet.
While Cahill has been equally prolific and has been named in the PFA Team of the Year, he is 32-years-old, and slowing down with every passing season. It may be time for Chelsea to replace him with a quality ball-playing defender, and Koulibaly fits the bill.
The Napoli defender will also be a vital addition to the Everton setup as Phil Jagielka is fighting a battle against age, and it is only a matter of time, before his first-team responsibilities are handed to someone younger.
However, given Napoli’s steep asking rate understood to be in the region of £60 million, it is unlikely that the Toffees have the financial muscle to challenge Chelsea and possibly beat them to the player’s signature.