Since Antonio Rudiger's ACL injury earlier this week ruled him out as a Chelsea transfer target, Kalidou Koulibaly has come back strongly into the reckoning. The Napoli center back is looking to get rewarded for his two excellent seasons at the club, and with Napoli dithering, has openly threatened to leave. This has landed him in hot water with the supporters, and while he tried to do a bit of damage control today with a post on Instagram, saying that he loves the fans and the city, he pointedly said nothing about the club, so if anything, he looks even closer to engineering an exit.
Even still, Napoli big boss Aurelio Di Laurentiis is a shrewd negotiator, and Chelsea will have to pay through the nose to get this one done. Accoring to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Inside Futbol), the Blues already had a €20m bid knocked back and while we had been "considering" a €30m bid, too, we might have to go as high as €40m to get the wheels turning. It sounds like personal terms would be easier, with the Blues ready to reward Koulibaly with €4m/year (after taxes), five times what he's making now and twice what Napoli have offered him.
Given our predicament and all the money flowing into the league, any business we do will likely have large sums of money associated with it. Reinforcements at center back are perhaps the most pressing need -- midfield also important, but we have lots of prospects there to choose from, should we actually choose to go down that route -- and Koulibaly's blend of size, speed, strength, and skills could be just what we need. Time to pay up?