Chelsea more confident of signing Napoli star after he turns down new contract.
According to Sky Sport Italia via Football Italia (h/t Football London), Napoli have failed to renew centre-back contract, giving Chelsea a massive boost in their hopes of landing the star defender.
His current deal runs out in 2023 and an agreement couldn’t be reached between him and Napoli, who were offering him an extension but with a massive pay cut.
The Italian side is trying to trim their wage bill despite securing Champions League qualification, causing several important players to feel disrespected. And this could benefit the Blues.
Thomas Tuchel’s team is linked with a number of defenders, including Koulibaly. Jules Kounde of Sevilla is closing in on a move to Stamford Bridge, while RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol and Juventus’ Matthijs De Ligt are also being monitored.
Along with Danny Drinkwater, Charly Musonda, and Jake Clarke-Salter, the club announced the departure of Denmark international Andreas Christiansen when his contract expired.
Chelsea have two major defensive holes to fill with Antonio Rudiger’s free move to Real Madrid and Christiansen’s departure. Both of them were at the pinnacle of their abilities when they left the Bridge.
Koulibaly and Kounde seem like the perfect solution to fill the gaping hole left behind. New club owner Todd Boehly has promised big moves as his era at Chelsea gets underway and signing the defensive pair will reassure all supporters about his intent.
Will Chelsea act swiftly to acquire Koulibaly?
Trouble brewing in Naples is good news at SW6, since Chelsea have been admirers of Koulibaly. With the defender now entering the final year of his contract, the West London club may view this as the perfect time to strike a cut-price deal.
They could even wait until next season to sign the Senegalese skipper on a free transfer. But whether we have that much time is another question, especially given our current defensive exodus, which need rapid replacements.