Chelsea shortlist Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly for summer transfer

Manchester United agreed Kalidou Koulibaly's £64m transfer deal

Chelsea have reportedly added Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly to the list of defenders they could bring to Stamford Bridge this summer.

The Blues are in the market for a defender after losing both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona this summer.

Thomas Tuchel’s side are already in talks with a long list of names, including Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt and Manchester City’s Nathan Ake. 

Koulibaly is the latest addition to the list, and the defender wants to leave Napoli. He appears to be a viable option for Chelsea as his current club are ready to sanction his departure from Naples only if a club outside of Serie A bid for him. 

But given that he is entering the final year of his contract, Napoli will want to get some money for him this summer, rather than watch him leave for nothing in 2023. 

Meanwhile, according to Diario Sport, the Senegalese was trying to engineer a £30 million move to Spanish giants Barcelona earlier this month. 

But transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed the Blues have been in conversation with the 30-year-old about a switch to the Premier League, as they look to hijack Barca’s move for the defender.

The Italian tweeted: “Kalidou Koulibaly, one more name on the list for Chelsea as they keep searching for two centre-backs.

“He’s out of contract with Napoli in 2023. Been told there are conversations also on Koulibaly alongside De Ligt, Ake, and Kounde.

“Focus on Raphinha, and then centre-backs.”

Despite Chelsea’s interest and Koulibaly’s desire to leave, a deal for him will not come easy as boss Luciano Spalletti has reportedly informed the club of his plan to resign should they sell Koulibaly. According to Sport via Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, the coach wants the club to keep his influential captain at all costs.

Meanwhile, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis admitted last month that, whilst Napoli would like Koulibaly to remain at the club, they cannot force his decision.

“He is a symbol of Napoli, and if he wants to no longer be a symbol, he must decide,” he said.

“We must decide. We want Koulibaly to stay, but people can’t be forced to stay. Everyone has their own dignity and needs. We respect everyone.”