Chelsea have been dealt with a huge blow in their pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly with Napoli slapping an enormous £80 million price-tag on the defensive star.
According to Mirror, Chelsea could face the prospects of paying over £80 million for star defender Kalidou Koulibaly. The Napoli superstar has been subjected to a move to Stamford Bridge for a long time now and with Mauricio Sarri gone, a move to the Premier League could be on the horizon.
However, Chelsea have already roped in former Napoli manager Sarri as well as star midfielder Jorginho. As a result of which, the Italian giants have remained reluctant about letting any more of their custodians leave the club this summer.
Thus, they have already asked the Blues to cough up £80 million for Koulibaly along with added bonuses, which could creep up the value of their star defender close to the £100 million mark.
Koulibaly, 27, is currently regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the Serie A, having played a key role in Napoli’s success over the years. Since joining the club back in 2014, he has featured in over 160 competitive matches for the Ciuciarelli.
However, it is under the leadership of Sarri where Koulibaly has flourished, emerging as one of the most rejuvenated defenders in the Italian top flight.
Initially known for his sheer physical prowess, the 27-year-old was always deemed as a useful defender, who can remain solid throughout the ninety minutes. But, the Italian mastermind has enhanced his overall qualities in defence as well as ball circulation, which has seen Koulibaly transform into arguably the most complete African defender.
And it is believed that the 59-year-old tactician is keen for a reunion with Napoli’s defensive stalwart as he aims to usher in a new era at Chelsea next season. Even though the defence has been one of Blues’ least of concerns in recent years, Koulibaly’s addition will certainly beef up their defensive department and perhaps secure a better future in that particular area of the pitch.
Club captain Gary Cahill has already entered the final phase of his career while Brazilian superstar David Luiz’s career is clearly heading into the wrong direction, having been omitted from Brazil’s squad for the World Cup, earlier this summer. In fact, former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had him on the chopping block following rumours of a rift and Sarri may follow suit.
Additionally, German international Antonio Rudiger is unlikely to fit into Sarri’s tactical philosophy of quick build-up play from the back.
Thus, a move for Koulibaly certainly makes sense for the West-London giants. The Senegalese international could partner the highly talented Andreas Christensen or the experienced Cesar Azpilicueta in central defence. And at the age of 27, the former Genk starlet certainly has time on his side as he aims to showcase his talents in arguably the most competitive league in the world.
That being said, a fee of over £80 million seems a bit too much for Koulibaly considering the fact that Chelsea do actually have enough options to implement Sarri’s tactics in the forthcoming season.
Therefore, moving on to other alternatives or even utilizing their current crop of defenders might just prove to be a wise decision especially under a coach, who has a strong track record of transforming fringe players into world-class individuals.