Aurelio De Laurentiis has argued that Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has cost the club millions in revenue, and suggested that he could sue Chelsea for any potential involvement.
The towering defender told L’Equipe last week if talks with the Partenopei didn’t get off the ground then he would start making contact with other clubs.
Unsurprisingly, that didn’t go down well with De Laurentiis who responded angrily to the player’s comments and had a clear warning for both him and Chelsea if he finds out that the Premier League outfit had any involvement in persuading him to make the statement.
“I had thought Koulibaly was a good man,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
“The moment I realise you and your agent haven’t read the contracts properly before signing them… I cannot tolerate that.
“Napoli were about to sign new commercial deals to use Koulibaly’s image, but his statements cancelled those opportunities. His jersey cannot be sold now.
“He created damages worth millions of euros, and I have specialists studying the issue now.
“If we discovered that Chelsea were behind this, we could sue them for damages too. Koulibaly is 24 years old, he is not a kid.”
De Laurentiis went on to insist that the 24-year-old will see out the remaining three years on his contract and “perhaps many more” to pay off the damages that he now owes the club.
It’s no secret that Antonio Conte is seeking defensive reinforcements this summer ahead of his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, and any possible interest in Koulibaly would be understandable given that the defender enjoyed a stellar season this past year and would be a perfect fit for the Premier League.
However, it doesn’t appear as though there is any real basis on which De Laurentiis can suggest Chelsea were involved in the situation at this point, but it’s clear that he’s been left disappointed and angered by his player’s actions and it remains to be see how it develops this summer.