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Chelsea are holding negotiations over a possible deal for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein.
The Blues are looking to replace Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen who they lost on free transfers this summer to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Koulibaly moved to Napoli from Genk in 2014 in a £6.5m deal and has spent the last eight seasons marshalling the Serie A club’s backline.
The Senegal international has won a Coppa Italia and a Supercoppa Italia during that time and has scored 14 goals in 317 appearances.
And now it looks like he will have a chance of a new challenge this summer after years of rumours that he could leave Napoli for the Premier League.
Most of the ‘Big Six’ in the Premier League have been linked to Koulibaly at some point and now Ornstein claims that Chelsea ‘are in talks to sign’ Koulibaly from Napoli.
The Athletic journalist adds: ‘Discussions are taking place over a possible deal that could see the 31-year-old move to Stamford Bridge on a long-term contract for a proposed €40 million fee.
‘Negotiations are ongoing but an agreement between the clubs and the Senegal captain is thought to be close.’
It was only a couple of years ago that the Serie A club were demanding £100m for their centre-back but with one year left on his contract they are prepared to accept much less.
Ornstein continues by insisting that Chelsea are also ‘interested in Presnel Kimpembe, Nathan Ake and Jules Kounde as they seek multiple reinforcements in central defence’.
Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount is itching to get playing football after a short break following the summer internationals.
Mount told the club’s official website: “It’s only been three weeks off so you don’t lose too much and I always like to keep ticking over a little bit by doing training. In Portugal, with Chelsea Under-23s when they were there, I joined in a little shooting drill with them.
“When you keep ticking over it helps when you first come back to not feel too far behind. There’s been a group that have come back before us and been training for the past week so they are in good form.
“I was just buzzing to get back with the boys, to get back with all the staff, to really get back working hard and get the season running. We’ve got a good few games here in America, a great few weeks, so we’ll enjoy it.”
The article Ornstein: Chelsea ‘close’ to €40m deal for Koulibaly ‘on a long-term contract’ appeared first on Football365.com.