Chelsea have presented the Serie A runners-up Napoli with one final bid of £40m for their centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, the Telegraph has reported. The Stamford Bridge outfit having been linked with the defender for the entire summer, haven’t been able to set-up a lucrative bid for the Senegalese international. The former English and European champions have made it clear that, no future offers will be made and they will cease to pursue the centre-half upon rejection of this bid. The English club have been previously put off by Gli Azzurri in their pursuit of landing the defender by asking an absurd price.
The Chelsea squad boasts quality names in midfield and in the attacking third, but lacks sharpness and alternatives when it comes to the defenders in the roster. Ola Aina a defender from the academy is a sheer talent, but is yet to be nurtured before finding himself a spot in the starting XI, stated Antonio Conte, who took over the managerial reigns at the Bridge this summer. Furthermore an injury to Kurt Zouma have limited the options in the defense department for The Blues.
Leaving Chelsea with only four defenders and if any of them suffer an injury or a suspension, it could pose Conte with a serious selection crisis on the defensive front. Thus, bringing in a defender is imminent.
There are reports claiming, the Premier League club have already lined up a back-up target, the £25m rated Torino centre-back Nikola Maksimović, if a closure is not met in this deal. On the contrary there are reports which suggest that Koulibaly has not yet signed a new deal with his current Serie A club, and is believed to be pecking for a move away from the Stadio San Paolo. This in fact might lure Napoli into accepting this last bid.
Only time will tell how this long summer transfer saga finally unfurls. Both Chelsea and Conte are known for their ‘defensive organisation’ and the Italian manager will need to act quickly and bring in a defender before the transfer deadline day.