Chelsea's hunt for a new defender has yet to yield any fruit, despite the Blues targeting centre-backs from all the major European Leagues: from Matthijs De Ligt in Italy, to Nathan Ake in England, to Jules Kounde in Spain, to Presnel Kimpembe in France. So, who’s next?
According to the newest reports from the UK (Athletic), Italy (Sky Italia) and France (RTL France), it’s none other than Kalidou Koulibaly who is very close to signing for Chelsea for approximately €40 million. No, this is not a reprint from five years ago.
Chelsea close to agreements on fee + personal terms to sign Kalidou Koulibaly. Not done & Napoli often tricky but talks moving towards ~€40m deal + long-term contract for 31yo. Likes of Kimpembe, Kounde, Ake remain in mix @TheAthleticUK #CFC #SSCNapoli https://t.co/Izox1JeuN5— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 12, 2022
Unlike the rumor, Koulibaly himself has definitely not gotten any fresher in the last few years. But while the 31-year-old is definitely not getting any younger, this does seem like one of the best transfers we could make in the situation we’ve put ourselves into.
Kalidou Koulibaly est tout proche de signer à Chelsea !— Fabrice Hawkins (@FabriceHawkins) July 12, 2022
L’international sénégalais devrait s’engager pour 3 ans.
Coût de l’opération 40 millions d’euros ! pic.twitter.com/mqMrlzx68D
Unfortunately it gets a bit worse when we consider the finances involved, both in terms of the massive transfer fee and the supposed long-term deal. And Napoli are never easy to deal with, as we learned when we first tried to sign Koulibaly.
Maybe Barcelona, whose only transfer strategy this season seems to be to copy our homework and throw themselves off a financial cliff in the process, will save us once again. Here's hoping that happens!