Chelsea to be priced out of pursuit for commanding Serie A defender

Chelsea are reportedly set to be forced to give up on their chase of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, with their initial bid falling way short of his valuation.

The Premier League outfit are understood to have offered €21m for the Senegalese stopper, but the Partenopei won’t sell for anything less than €30m.

According to Il Mattino, incoming Blues boss Antonio Conte is desperate to land the towering centre-half, and it comes as no surprise given his impressive performances for Napoli last season.

Koulibaly formed an important part of Maurizio Sarri side’s success this past year, as he developed into one of the top defenders in Serie A which in turn helped the club finish the campaign in second place.

However, while his profile grew bigger and he attracted interest from around Europe, his price-tag also rose, with Napoli unlikely to part company with him for anything other than a substantial fee.

Naturally, they will hope to hold out and reject all incoming offers over the next few months, but it is unclear as whether or not their stance will change if their asking price is met.

It is noted in the report though that owner Aurelio De Laurentiis could still opt to dismiss Chelsea’s interest if they return with an improved offer, such is the level at which he regards Koulibaly.

Conte has been linked with various defensive targets since it was confirmed that he will arrive at Stamford Bridge after Euro 2016. But, having suffered various setbacks, it remains to be seen whether or not he can bolster his options further ahead of next season.

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