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Chelsea closing in on signing Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli

Chelsea have agreed to personal terms with star center-back Kalidou Koulibaly and are now working out a transfer fee with his team, Napoli. the Premier League giants had a €35m offer declined but now appear to be raising their bid to €40m to secure Koulibaly’s services. Koulibaly wants to go to Chelsea, so it looks like the deal will be finalized in the coming days.

Chelsea have had an active transfer window under new owner Todd Boehly and still want to do more. They already signed Raheem Sterling for their attack, and now they are looking to bolster their defense. After losing Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, they have some spots to fill on the back end and Koulibaly will go a long way towards filling those gaps. He has been one of the best center backs in the Serie A over the past five seasons.

The Blues are also looking at bringing in Nathan Ake from Manchester City. He is another center-back who will give them more options on that end. Defense is core to the Chelsea mentality under Thomas Tuchel and they frequently play five at the back. Having a lot of options defensively is paramount to Chelsea’s plan and Koulibaly will likely become a mainstay in the Chelsea defense.

Koulibaly is 31 years old and the Senegalese defender has been playing for the Italian club Napoli since 2014. Over those years, he established himself as a physical menace who frequents the nightmares of opposing attackers. He is a commanding defender who is ripe for the physicality of the Premier League. Chelsea are in the process of rebuilding their defense and Koulibaly is projected to be a key piece of that rebuild.

Regardless, if Chelsea do end up finalizing this deal, it will be another great piece of business. This deal doesn’t appear to be worth a whole lot and while Koulibaly is a little old, he still has a lot of years left of good play. Get used to seeing him command the Chelsea back line for years to come.

Right now, Chelsea are +1600 to win the Premier League with the top betting sites and unfortunately for them, the upcoming title will be Liverpool or Manchester City’s to lose. Both of those teams are so far ahead of the rest of the Premier League and last year, Liverpool finished second in the EPL after Manchester City. Even then, Liverpool had an 18 point lead over third place Chelsea and the top two teams seem to be just a class above. Both Liverpool and City have improved their squad and, realistically, one of those teams will be hoisting the trophy at the end of the season.

That doesn’t mean Chelsea can’t succeed, however, and they should be a great team. There is no shame in finishing in third place again and as long as Chelsea finish in a Champions League spot, their season will be a success. By all accounts, they appear to be in a good spot to finish in one of those spots and Koulibaly projects to be a key player for that run.

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