Chelsea: £34m target would be ‘phenomenal’ signing at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel acknowledges the club's fans

Chelsea target Kalidou Koulibaly has been labelled a ‘phenomenal’ talent by Italian football expert Conor Clancy amid growing speculation over his future.

The 31-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona for several years now, but with just 12 months remaining on his contract, he could finally seek pastures new this summer.

What is the latest news involving Koulibaly?

A recent report from Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (via The Sun) claims Chelsea are willing to offer Koulibaly £8.5 million-a-year in order to join Thomas Tuchel’s charges.

Napoli are said to have placed a £34m price tag on their prized asset after talks over a potential new deal with the Senegal international reached an impasse.

It’s claimed that the Azzurri’s owner Aurelio De Laurentiis wants Koulibaly to take a wage cut on his £100,000-per-week contract, while Chelsea are ready to increase that figure.

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The Blues could face fierce competition for the 6 foot 1 ace’s signature, though, as Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain are also listed as potential suitors.

With Antonio Rudiger joining Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen expected to sign for Barcelona, acquiring a new elite-level centre-back is likely to be a priority for Tuchel over the coming months.

What has Clancy said about Koulibaly?

Clancy believes that Koulibaly is a ‘brilliant’ player and that he and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk would be most people’s first-choice centre-back pairing.

He told GiveMeSport: “He’s brilliant. If you were given a game of FIFA, and you were told to just build your own team, Koulibaly and Van Dijk are the first two defenders you’d put in immediately, if it’s a back two or a back three. He is phenomenal, phenomenal.”

Would Koulibaly be a good signing?

Koulibaly signed for Napoli from Belgium outfit KRC Genk back in July 2014 and has gone on to establish himself as one of the world’s best central defenders ever since.

The imposing figure has racked up 21 goal contributions in his 317 appearances for Napoli across all competitions, claiming one Italian Cup in that time.

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He also helped his nation lift the Africa Cup of Nations this year and continued to display his world-class ability despite now being on the wrong side of 30.

As per WhoScored, Koulibaly won 1.8 aerial duels, pulled off 1.1 interceptions, made 3.1 clearances and 0.9 blocks per league game last season, placing him in the top three amongst his teammates for each metric.

Whether Tuchel wants to sign a player approaching the end of his peak years remains to be seen, but Koulibaly would surely still represent a quality addition to Chelsea’s backline.

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