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Chelsea receive major boost as £50m transfer saga takes positive twist

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has left the door open to a move to the Premier League after months of speculation linking him to Chelsea.

The towering centre-half was heavily linked with an exit last summer, but he has refocused and continues to play an integral role in Napoli’s bid to finish in the top three in Serie A again.

While they look on course to do so, they could be facing the prospect of not having Koulibaly marshal the backline next season as he has refused to rule out the possibility of playing in England.

“It’s my first time in London, it was amazing,” he is quoted as saying by The Sun. “It would make me happy to come and play here, but I now I have to go to Napoli.

“In the future you never know. Now I concentrate on my club and we will see next season what I have to do. I think I will stay in Napoli but you never know. I can’t talk about it now. We will see.”

The 25-year-old has established himself as one of the top defenders in Italy, and with Antonio Conte looking for a long-term replacement for John Terry despite the success of his three-man defence this season, Koulibaly has the versatility and quality to fit into those plans too.

With Chelsea on course to win the Premier League title this season, they will be back in Europe next year. That means Conte must strengthen where possible to compete on all fronts, and Koulibaly would undoubtedly offer defensive solidity and a strong base on which to build further success on.

It won’t be cheap though, as according to the Metro earlier this month Chelsea had a £50m bid turned down last summer, and there is every reason to believe that Napoli may demand even more now with Koulibaly’s contract running until 2021.

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