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Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool back in for Napoli center back — report

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He’s back!

SSC Napoli v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Ah, Kalidou Koulibaly.

It feels just like yesterday that Chelsea spent most of a summer transfer window chasing the Senegalese international, only to have him put pen to paper to a new contract at Napoli less than a month later. Believe it or not however, that’s nigh on two years ago already, so perhaps it’s K2 rumor-time once again.

Certainly it seems that his agent might be trying to raise the agenda of a potential pay rise for the 26-year-old, who’s currently committed to three more seasons at Napoli after this one ends. But local newspaper Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness) are claiming that Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are all once again interested in centre back — the Blues “in the lead” supposedly, for whatever that’s worth — and with his head coach, Maurizio Sarri possibly also in high demand this summer, this rumor could just be getting started in earnest.

Koulibaly has continued to put in good work in the meantime, cementing his reputation as one of the Serie A’s best defenders as Napoli finished third last season and have put in a credible title challenge this year before dropping a few points back of current leaders Juventus. The gap is four points with seven games to go; certainly it could be a close race at the end.

Chelsea have done alright in the defensive department as well, especially last year, but with a couple aging players (David Luiz, Gary Cahill) and plenty of unknowns beyond the qualities of Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rüdiger, reinforcements could perhaps arrive this summer. Unfortunately, we might recall that Napoli rejected €60m for Koulibaly two years ago, so who knows what astronomical fee the exceedingly annoying Aurelio de Laurentiis would demand (and then reject and then demand and then reject and continue to string us along as usual).

No thanks.