Chelsea are reportedly prepared to hand a lucrative contract worth €10 million per year to lure Kalidou Koulibaly, who is a target for Barcelona and PSG.
According to Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport, as relayed by Sport Witness, Chelsea are plotting to beat Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain to the signing of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly by offering him a big contract worth €10 million-a-year.
Koulibaly has been a mainstay at the back for Napoli for years, having joined the club from KRC Genk in 2014. One of the most reliable defenders in Serie A and Europe, the 30-year-old could be on the move this summer as his contract stands to expire next year.
Koulibaly is currently on a deal worth €6 million per year. And Napoli have offered him an extension with a lowered salary of €4 million-a-year as they are looking to trim down their wage bill. Disappointed by the proposal, Koulibaly has made up his mind about leaving the Partenopei in the summer transfer window.
Koulibaly’s availability in the summer has alerted several top clubs from across Europe, with Chelsea and Barcelona, in particular, showing serious interest in signing the Senegalese international in the summer.
Barcelona have made Koulibaly one of their top defensive targets heading into the summer as manager Xavi Hernandez wants to add a top-quality centre-back to his roster. The Catalans have Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti as options, while Andreas Christensen is also expected to join imminently on a Bosman deal.
However, both Lenglet and Umtiti are likely to move on this summer, while Pique’s recent injury issues have raised concerns over his reliability. Hence, Koulibaly has emerged as a target, owing to his quality, experience at the highest level and the leadership he offers.
Chelsea are also keen on signing Koulibaly, with the summer transfer window already open in England. The Blues have seen Antonio Rudiger join Real Madrid, while Christensen will be signing for Barcelona imminently as well. With Cesar Azpilicueta’s future also not secure, Thomas Tuchel’s side must bring in at least one world-class defender.
Links to Sevilla’s Jules Kounde continue to persist, but at the same time, Koulibaly is another player under consideration at Stamford Bridge. Reports had suggested that Chelsea had already opened talks with the Senegalese international’s camp over a move. And as per the Gazzetta report, the Blues are willing to offer the 30-year-old a lucrative deal worth €10 million per year.
Barcelona, given their current financial situation, would find it hard to match those wages. PSG, another club interested in Koulibaly, could offer him similar terms, but the report claims that the defender is tempted by Chelsea. At the same time, however, there have been some suggestions that Koulibaly could prefer a move to Barcelona. So, it remains to be seen where the defender ends up before next season.
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