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Chelsea make approach for Napoli defensive target - report

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

With Napoli refusing to let go of Kalidou Koulibaly despite the latest €45 million approach by Chelsea, the Blues have apparently turned to an alternative strategy by trying for one of the players tabbed by Napoli as a potential replacement for the Senegalese centre back. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Chelsea have made an approach for Torino defender Nikola Maksimovic, who's been rumoured to be on Napoli's radar as a way to spend some of the Higuain cash.

The 24-year-old has been a Torino player since 2013, initially arriving on a loan deal from Red Star Belgrade. Also able to play as a defensive midfielder, he made 16 starts in Serie A last season after missing time due to a metatarsal fracture, which left him off the pitch from September to January. He's also picked up 12 caps with the Serbian national team in his career.

While Maksimovic's name isn't mentioned in the same circles as Koulibaly's, he could be an upgrade over our current first-choice centre backs in John Terry and Gary Cahill. Although I wouldn't complain if we're entering this transfer chase just to wind up Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis...

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