Chelsea tipped to win transfer battle with Man Utd, PL rivals for £53m-rated summer target

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Chelsea are reportedly being touted as favourites in the race to land Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, beating Man Utd and Arsenal to his signature this summer.

The 26-year-old has established himself as a key figure in Maurizio Sarri’s side over the past couple of seasons, while also emerging as one of the most reliable and consistent defenders in Serie A.

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With that in mind, it’s no surprise that he has attracted plenty of interest from elsewhere, but as they continue to battle for the league title this season, Napoli will surely have no intention of losing one of their most important figures.

Koulibaly has made 36 appearances in all competitions so far this season, and as a lynchpin of the Napoli backline, it will surely take a significant offer to convince them to negotiate a possible sale.

As reported by The Daily Star though, in the event that he is given permission to move on, Chelsea are being considered as favourites to sign him by the bookmakers, with BetStars in particular favouring the chances of the Blues over Man Utd and Arsenal.

That will be music to the ears of Chelsea fans as with Gary Cahill and David Luiz on the wrong side of 30, Antonio Conte will arguably need to start thinking about rebuilding that part of his squad and he has previously been linked with making a £53m bid for Koulibaly last summer, as per The Telegraph.

Nevertheless, if looking at the three teams in question, it’s undoubtedly Arsenal who need to address their defence more so than any other side.

The Gunners have conceded 41 goals in 29 Premier League games so far this season, giving them the worst defensive record of the top seven sides by some distance.

In contrast, both Utd and Chelsea have top-five defensive records in the top flight, and so there doesn’t appear to be the same immediate need for reinforcements at the back.

However, based on the odds at least, the Blues are being favoured and so time will tell if they are able to persuade Napoli to part company with one of the top defenders in Europe and if he arrives with a Serie A title, which could be the catalyst to then move on and find a new challenge.

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