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Chelsea turn to Sunderland for Kalidou Koulibaly alternative - report

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Chelsea have done a good job this summer of addressing our midfield issues while reinforcing an already good area of our squad by bringing a new striker into the fold. Our priority now should be finding a new player for the defence, and thus the search for the best target available continues.

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea have added Sunderland defender Lamine Koné as a secondary choice if a deal for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly can't be reached. Benfica's Victor Lindelöf is also another prospective player still in consideration.

It should be noted that the Telegraph's Matt Law just yesterday claimed that Chelsea's singular focus is on Koulibaly, though surely we have a few backup options in mind given Napoli's reluctance to do business at any price.

Lamine Koné (not to be confused with Lamine Sané, who just signed with our last opponents, Werder Bremen), is a 27-year-old French centre back, who joined the Black Cats in January of this year and was key in their late surge to avoid relegation.  He made 15 starts for Sunderland, losing only 3 of them, while scoring a couple goals and even collecting an assist.  He has also drawn interest from Everton, who recently sold a former Chelsea transfer target John Stones to Manchester City for £47.5 million. (Ed. note: so, money CAN buy you Stones after all!) The Toffees have reportedly made an £18 million offer for Koné.

As of right now, Chelsea are looking to head into another season with two monolithic experienced defenders in John Terry and Gary Cahill as the starters in the centre back position. And while Michael Hector, Matt Miazga, Ola Aina and Nathaniel Chalobah could slot in if required (while Kurt Zouma recovers from his ACL tear), they're not nearly ready to take starting responsibilities.

(By the way: Is it too soon to regret selling Djilobodji to Sunderland?  Or will that transfer help us land this transfer?)