Premier League giants Arsenal and Chelsea have reportedly set their sights on a summer swoop for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.
According to a report by the Mirror, London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are just two of of the ‘top Premier League’ sides that are interested in the 26-year-old, with Manchester United likely to potentially join the race for the Senegal international as well.
Koulibaly was reportedly discovered by Roland Janssen, a former player himself who turned into a scout for RC Genk and now Manchester United. Should they choose to pursue him, it will be interesting to see how that fact helps them in bringing the Senegal international to Old Trafford.
Chelsea have been heavily linked with the former FC Metz player over the course of the past two summer transfer windows. The Blues even lodged a massive £60 million offer last year for the player nicknamed ‘K2’, but that wasn’t enough for the Partenopei.
Instead Chelsea went on to sign Antonio Rudiger and retained Andreas Christensen in the squad. While they both have managed to break into the first-team setup, they aren’t quite as good as Koulibaly and he would still be a valuable addition to the Blues’ defence.
Koulibaly, who stands at a towering 6 ft 5 in, has also courted interest from Arsenal in recent weeks. The Gunners had reportedly sent their staff to watch the centre-back among other players during Napoli’s Europa League clash against RB Leipzig back in February.
Arsenal could certinaly use a man with Koulibaly’s profile in their squad. He’s comfortable with the ball, very good in the air and isn’t afraid to be aggressive – traits that would help him fit into the English game with ease. He would also provide great competition to Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi and even give Wenger an option to use a back-three.
Champions League football may play a big role in deciding his future destination in the summer, though. Chelsea and Arsenal are fifth and sixth respectively and qualification for them looks extremely unlikely at this stage. Manchester United could have the edge in that aspect, and it will be interesting to see whether this turns out to be one of the big transfer sagas of the summer.