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Chelsea 'formalising concrete offer' for Napoli defender — report

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Over the past few months, Chelsea have been busy re-signing all of our veteran defenders to new contract.  Branislav Ivanovic got his one-year extension, as did John Terry eventually, while Gary Cahill, the youngest of the trio, put pen to paper on a new long-term contract just before his 30th birthday.  This may be an emotionally satisfying situation, but in term of actual quality on the pitch, it's somewhat questionable.

Fortunately, it would appear that Chelsea and Antonio Conte are not satisfied with the status quo.  While young talents like Andreas Christensen or the newly emerging Fikayo Tomori are not slated to become part of the first-team just yet, some fresh blood is definitely needed (especially with Kurt Zouma coming off of an always scary ACL injury).

All of our primary transfer targets seem to be Serie A-based (thanks, Conte!), and this one is no exception. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Chelsea are "formalising a concrete offer" for Napoli center back Kalidou Koulibaly, who helped the Partenopei to their best defensive record in the last dozen years.  There have been minor rumblings regarding Koulibaly before, but this is the most concrete Chelsea link yet.

The France-born Senegalese skillful big man — and we're talking BIG, with an extra two inches on Zouma — has been with Napoli for two seasons, joining from KRC Genk for €7m in pocket change.  His wages are also rather low (the reported €800,000 per year is ~£12k/week), which could mean that he's simply gunning for a new contract.  He does apparently want to play Champions League football, which is something Napoli can offer and we can't.  We can however offer a healthy pay rise (3x rumored).

Koulibaly will turn 25 this summer and seems to be approaching the prime of this career.  We could certainly do worse.