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Rumor mill starts back up: Chelsea linked with free agent Cáceres; future Koulibaly arrangement?

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Silly Season never sleeps, as we're fond of saying around here, and, sure enough, just a few days after the summer transfer window slammed shut, here come the new rumors for January and beyond.  Or, in the case of Martín Cáceres, rumors for right now.

The 29-year-old Uruguayan international has been out of contract since leaving Juventus in the summer, and according to sources in Italy, he's now being considered as a bonus signing by Antonio Conte.  Conte of course worked with Cáceres for a couple years at Juve, and while the versatile defender was never quite first-choice, he was a capable, if injury-prone utility player, able to do the job anywhere across the back line.

It should be noted that Calcio Mercato are a very unreliable source, but the rumor does make a modicum of sense, if you squint right.  Cáceres, provided he's healthy himself after tearing his Achilles in February, could serve as insurance for Zouma's ACL recovery, too.  (There are optimistic reports that the big kid will be back sometime in October, but I wouldn't really count on that, or him being able to contribute properly straight away.)

Meanwhile, Kalidou Koulibaly is already back in the news as well, having recently re-declared his love for the club and swearing fealty to the one true and eternal lord, Aurelio De Laurentiis.

So, let me get this straight.  Koulibaly wanted out because he wasn't going to get a new contract, but now that he's getting a new contract, after apparently making nice with the leadership, he will leave?  What?

Contract extensions are often signed ahead of future sales to ensure that teams get proper return in terms of transfer fees, but with Chelsea willing to fork over £40m already, that shouldn't be a particular concern in this case.  So make of this what you will; it's probably just random nonsense.  The Koulibaly ship has sailed.

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