Kalidou Koulibaly

Chelsea faced competition for the signature of Napoli Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Spanish giants Barcelona were reportedly also interested in signing Koulibaly. The 31-year-old looks set to join Chelsea this summer after the Blues reached an agreement with Napoli for his signature.

According to Sport, Barcelona requested Koulibaly to put his potential move to Chelsea on hold and wait for them instead. The defender, however, is close to joining Thomas Tuchel’s side in a deal worth €40 million. He is expected to sign a long-term deal with a €10 million-per-season salary package as per Fabrizio Romano.

Barcelona are believed to be interested in signing Koulibaly as they view him as a potential replacement for veteran defender Gerard Pique. The 35-year-old has been unable to maintain the consistency and level of performance that has made him a legend at Camp Nou.

The Catalan giants will therefore be eager to sign a world-class defender capable of providing leadership as an adequate replacement for Pique.

Kalidou Koulibaly joined Napoli from Belgian club Genk in 2014. He has made 317 appearances in all competitions for the Italian giants and has become one of the best defenders in Serie A.

The 31-year-old has just one year left on his contract with Napoli and reportedly rejected the chance to extend his deal with the club as per Daily Mail. The club have therefore seemingly opted to sell the defender rather than risk losing him on a free transfer next year.

Koulibaly has reportedly decided to join Premier League giants Chelsea, despite Barcelona’s request. Thomas Tuchel’s side have been desperate to reinforce their defense. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left the club last month after the expiration of their contracts, thereby leaving a massive hole in the Blues’ defense.

The Senegal international is expected to form a formidable partnership with Brazilian defender Thiago Silva on defense next season.

Barcelona and Chelsea could be set to compete for another defender

As per The Express, Barcelona and Chelsea look set to battle it out for the signature of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. The Frenchman has been a long-term target for Thomas Tuchel but has also attracted interest from the La Liga giants this summer.

The Blues will be keen to sign another defender this summer as they parted ways with two centre-backs last month. As per The Sun, the Blues have been unable to reach an agreement with Sevilla over the transfer fee for the 23-year-old.

Barcelona are believed to be willing to offer Dutch forward Memphis Depay plus cash to Sevilla in exchange for Jules Kounde. Xavi’s side will be determined to beat Chelsea to Kounde’s signature after losing out to the Blues in the battle for Kalidou Koulibaly’s signature.

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