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Monday, May 23, 2022

Chelsea handed major Kalidou Koulibaly transfer blow as Napoli boss makes £34m stance clear

  Chelsea have been handed a major blow in the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly in the upcoming transfer window following Luciano Spalletti...

 

Chelsea have been handed a major blow in the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly in the upcoming transfer window following Luciano Spalletti's latest comments.

 The Napoli boss has made his feelings clear regarding the potential exit of his acclaimed centre-half, and has claimed that he would chain himself to the gates if defender is sold.

Koulibaly has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, with his contract at the Italian side set to expire at the end of next season. The 30-year-old featured 27 times for Napoli in the Serie A this season, steering Gli Azzurri towards a title charge.

The Senegal international's impressive displays have seen Spalletti's side relish the second-best defensive record in the league behind only AC Milan, who won their first Scudetto in eleven years.

Koulibaly has faced a growingly uncertain future at Napoli after his agent Fali Ramadani offered the defender to Chelsea , according to Area Napoli , as quoted by Sport Witness .

The report claims that the west Londoners are one of the many leading sides in Europe to have been offered his services, with Barcelona said to be in contention too. But, amid speculation regarding Koulibaly's future, his boss has made his feelings clear over the defender's a potential exit.

Napoli are already expected to lose some big names this summer, with both Victor Osimhen and Dries Mertens the subject of interest from elsewhere.

But, Spalletti singled out Koulibaly and insisted that the club have to do whatever they can to hold on to their custodian. Speaking in a press conference after Napoli's final game of the season, Spalletti told Football Italia :

"Koulibaly in my view is not for sale, just like last season when I threatened to chain myself to the gates if he was sold. I’m doing it again!

 "This is a player always open to giving a helping hand, knows where to intervene and how to raise the level, he does what is needed. We want to have another important season, so he cannot be sold.

"People say you can get a younger player, but you can’t buy a leader, who developed here over so many years, who lives and breathes the city and gives that passion back on the pitch. Kalidou is not the same as the others for many reasons, so he needs particular focus. These are all things we’ll discuss over the next few days."


Koulibaly, who according to Calciomercato journalist Matteo Moretto is valued between £25million and £34million by Napoli with just a year remaining on his deal, has been one of Europe's most coveted defenders in recent years, though a move away from Napoli has never materialised.

 He helped Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations in January and is a defender of serious pedigree for what could be a relatively low fee.

He is reportedly not to pushing for a move but is open to the possibility, with a new deal on the table likely should he not leave. So, with an exodus of defenders already in full swing at Chelsea, Koulibaly would be welcomed addition.

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