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Chelsea ‘close’ to Koulibaly agreement, but Barcelona ask defender to ‘wait’ over transfer decision

Chelsea are ‘close’ to reaching an agreement to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, but Barcelona have asked the defender to ‘wait’ before making a decision on his future.

Koulibaly is nearing a move to Chelsea with the west Londoners having targeted the centre-back to bolster their defensive options, having seen both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen depart on free transfers this summer.

 

The Senegal international has expressed a desire for a new challenge after eight seasons in Naples and Sky Sports Italia are reporting that an agreement is close on a deal worth between £32m (€38m) and £33.7m (€40m).

Koulibaly has been continually linked with a big-money move across his time with Napoli, where he has been named in the Serie A Team of the Year on four occasions and as the division’s best defender during the 2018/19 campaign.

The 31-year-old – who captained Senegal to Africa Cup of Nations success in January – has just one year remaining on his current contract and is expected to sign a long-term deal at Stamford Bridge.

However, Sport are reporting that Barcelona are rivalling Chelsea’s interest and have asked the defender to delay making a decision on his future.

Barcelona are pursuing a deal for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, but are considering Koulibaly as a potential alternative should a move fail to materialise.

Juventus are also interested in Koulibaly, though Napoli are reluctant to sell the defender to a divisional rival.

Read – Five players who returned to Chelsea for a second spell

Read Also – Defensive Rocks: Paolo Maldini – Milan’s Il Capitano

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