Chelsea have seemingly suffered a setback after reported transfer target Raul Albiol signed a new contract extension to keep him at Napoli.
The Spaniard has established himself as a fundamental figure in the Partenopei backline, making 39 or more appearances in each campaign he’s been at the club since arriving in 2013.
As noted by Calciomercato though, he had been paired with a move to Chelsea amid speculation linking Maurizio Sarri with the job at Stamford Bridge after he was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti at the San Paolo earlier this month.
However, Albiol has ended rumours over his future by putting pen to paper on a new contract that will see him remain at Napoli until 2021, as seen in the tweet below from the club.
In contrast to Chelsea and Sarri’s potential disappointment if he is appointed, Napoli will be delighted to see the 32-year-old stalwart remain to avoid possible disruption caused by their coaching change.
Having pushed Juventus close in the last two seasons for the Serie A title, they’ll want to strengthen the squad rather than having to replace key individuals, and so Ancelotti will likely now be delighted to be able to rely on Albiol next season.
As for Chelsea, their defensive record wasn’t too bad last season having conceded 38 goals in 38 league games, giving them the fourth-best defensive record in the top flight.
Scoring goals was the bigger issue, and so perhaps the hierarchy would be well advised to prioritise attacking players this summer instead as they look to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on the Champions League.
— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) June 28, 2018