After a terrible Premier League title defence which saw Chelsea slump to a tenth-placed finish, Roman Abramovich was well aware that he needed to put his hands into his deep pockets this summer.
And it seems as though the Russia billionaire is willing to do just that.
Michu Batshuayi has been brought in for £33 million while N’Golo Kante has also joined for £30m. However, those two transfers could be eclipsed by Antonio Conte’s third summer signing.
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That’s because Sky Italy are reporting that the Blues have submitted a massive £38m bid for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. They also claim that Napoli have yet to respond to the huge offer.
The Stamford Bridge club have been linked with the Senegalese central defender throughout the transfer window, but it now seems they are ready to make their move.
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Earlier this week, Koulibaly’s agent, Bruno Satin, admitted that his client didn’t want to sign a new deal at the Italian club and that Chelsea were interested in signing him.
Koulibaly's agent's quotes
"Let's be clear, I went to meet the president at Dimaro last Saturday,” Satin told Radio CRC, per Sky Sports.
“We summed up the situation after these tense few weeks.
"That I know of, Koulibaly's not about to renew [his contract] and the future doesn't look rosy. The player's desire is to leave and the signs we're receiving from Napoli don't exactly pressure him otherwise.
"We've decided to leave for economic reasons. After what happened to Higuain, though, Kalidou will not be leaving for Juventus or another competitor.
"Chelsea still want him and there's time to close the deal."
As mentioned by Satin, Napoli have already had to sell one of their key players this week.
Gonzalo Higuain left the Serie A runners-up for arch-rivals Juventus in a deal worth a hefty £75m. They would, therefore, surely be reluctant to allow another one of their best players to leave during this transfer window.
Conte needs defensive reinforcements
It’s little surprise that Conte is keen to strengthen Chelsea’s defence ahead of the new season, though. He’ll be well aware that his side conceded 53 goals in the league last season - more than Crystal Palace, West Brom and Watford.
With Kurt Zouma returning from a serious injury, John Terry turning 36 this year and Gary Cahill also in his thirties, it will be very surprising if Conte doesn’t attempt to buy another centre-back this summer.
Although £38m may sound like a lot, when you consider that Koulibaly has only just turned 25 and could be playing for another ten years, it suddenly doesn’t seem too bad.
Whether Napoli will be willing to sell another one of their stars remains to be seen.
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