It’s been a pretty successful transfer window for Chelsea so far, but it could be about to get even better.
Michy Batshuayi has arrived for £33million, while N’Golo Kante has joined him for £30million.
So, with a striker and a midfielder already added, Antonio Conte is keen to add a defender to his ranks. That defender is Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Napoli centre-back has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge throughout the summer and it seems as though a deal is finally close to being agreed.
Sky Sports presenter, and transfer guru, Jim White has tweeted: “Chelsea still hopeful of signing Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly before Premier League kicks off - Italian club holding out for £50m.”
The news may come as a surprise to many Chelsea fans with the speculation surrounding Koulibaly cooling somewhat over the past week or so. However, with the start of the Premier League less than 48 hours away, it looks as though they are edging towards a massive deal.
White alludes to the hefty transfer fee that the Italian club are demanding from Chelsea. Last month, according to Sky Italy, the west London club bid £38million for the Senegalese defender - an offer that was subsequently rejected.
They now expect Chelsea to raise their offer by an extra £12million.
At the time, Koulibaly’s agent, Bruno Satin, admitted that Chelsea were interested and there was still time for the deal to be done before the transfer window slams shut.
“Chelsea still want him and there’s time to close the deal,” he told Radio CRC, per Sky Sports.
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 would have been very surprising if Conte didn't attempt to buy another centre-back this summer.
Whether they can get the Koulibaly deal across the line before they face West Ham in their opening Premier League fixture remains to be seen. Watch this space.