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Chelsea win race to £30m Serie A standout center back — report

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

With just two weeks to go before our first pre-season match, Chelsea remain just one of a few Premier League teams to have not signed any new players so far this summer.  While that's about to change with Michy Batshuayi, things could escalate even further rather quickly and rather positively if some of the other recent rumors come true as well.

Imagine a transfer window of Antonio Conte (important!), Michy Batshuayi, N'Golo Kante, and ... say, Kalidou Koulibaly?  Ignoring any side-business and loanee action, that's not a bad haul at all.  Most of that of course is still just speculation at this point, and some of it is pretty tenuous at best.  Kante, for example, sounds far too good to be true.  But Koulibaly's back on the radar after a couple quiet weeks, and back on it in a big way, if the Mirror are to be believed.

Koulibaly's situation at Napoli has become rather untenable, especially after Aurelio Di Laurentiis reacted to comments from the player by blowing his top, threatening fines and legal action and certainly not acquiescing to the 25-year-old's contract demands.  There's no real easy or obvious way to row back from 'shut up and know your role'.

The strong yet quick and skillful big man, commensurate with his level of play the last couple seasons, has drawn considerable interest both in England and in Italy.  He may not be a Bonucci (not many are!) or a Hummels, but in terms of realistic and immediately useful defensive signings go, he may be the best we can do.  £30m doesn't exactly scream bargain, but those sorts of prices are the new reality (unless you're Barcelona).

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