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Napoli refusing to sell Chelsea target Koulibaly

Napoli refusing to sell Chelsea target Koulibaly

Could Chelsea be set for disappointment in Koulibaly chase?

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is reluctant to sell star defender Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, despite firm interest from Chelsea, according to reports.

Sky Sports is reporting that Napoli’s president does not want to part ways with Koulibaly, who was outstanding for the Partenopei last season as they challenged Juventus for the scudetto, before eventually finishing second and securing qualification for this season’s Champions League.

New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is known to be in the market for a top class centre back, with recent reports suggesting that the Blues could yet spend as much as £140 million before the transfer window slams shut in two weeks’ time.

Conte was keen to bring in Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, with whom he worked while in charge in Turin as well as with the Italian national team. However, following the sale of Paul Pogba to Manchester United for a world record £89 million fee, Juventus are under no financial need to sell, and the 29-year-old seems unlikely to force a move away from the Italian champions.

So Conte is instead pursuing Napoli’s Koulibaly. It was widely thought that a bid in the region of £40 million would be enough to capture the Senegalese defender. However, after selling start striker Gonzalo Higuaín to Juventus, Napoli are not in need of money, and may now prefer to hang onto Koulibaly.