Chelsea have reportedly stepped up their pursuit of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly by placing a £38m bid, according to Sky Italia.
A move for Koulibaly, 25, to the Premier League has been mooted for several weeks now with Everton also in the hunt for the towering defender. But it appears Chelsea have taken a significant step in the chase with their latest bid.
Sky in Italy: Chelsea have made new £38m bid for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 27, 2016
The Senegal international played an integral role in Napoli’s race for the Serie A title with a series of commanding performances at the heart of the back-line in his 33 league appearances.
Chelsea’s potential signing of the centre-back will be Antonio Conte’s third signing of the transfer window following their big-money signings of Michy Batshuayi from Marseille and N’Golo Kante from Leicester City.
Koulibaly’s agent, Bruno Santin, told reporters on Monday that his client had no intention in renewing his contract at Napoli and revealed he wanted to leave with Chelsea showing concrete interest.
“Let’s be clear, I went to meet the president at Dimaro last Saturday. We summed up the situation after these tense few weeks,” Satin told Italian media.
“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.”
Koulibaly has been at the club for two seasons now since his £5.25m move from Racing Genk in 2014.