Chelsea saw a £42m bid for defender Kalidou Koulibaly rejected according to Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis, which in turn forced them to look elsewhere.
A central defender was high on Antonio Conte’s shortlist heading into the final week of the summer transfer window, with the Italian tactician desperate to add quality and depth in that department.
Having already signed N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi, it was the last area to address in his squad, and Koulibaly had been linked as a top target throughout the summer.
“Chelsea came in and offered €50m [£42m] for Koulibaly, but he’s going away for the African Cup of Nations, which pollutes the national Leagues and is another load of FIFA nonsense,” De Laurentiis said, according to The Mirror.
“That’s why we took [Lorenzo] Tonelli and [Nikola] Maksimovic to strengthen that area.”
After failing in their bid to sign the Senegalese international, Chelsea swooped for both Marcos Alonso and Luiz on the final day of the window, with the latter arriving in a £30m deal from Paris Saint-Germain, as noted in the same report.
It’s no surprise that the Brazilian international wasn’t the club’s first choice as ultimately question marks have been raised about the move since it was announced.
With French football expert Julien Laurens slamming the decision and ripping into Luiz for his performances in the French capital, it doesn’t look as though it’s such a smart move from Conte.
However, given his ability to get the best out of his players and improve their game, perhaps the Italian tactician can work his magic on the defensively suspect Brazilian.