Chelsea’s future transfer plans have suffered a blow, with Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly extending his contract with Serie A side Napoli until 2021.
The 25-year-old was strongly linked with a move to the Premier League side during the summer transfer window, according to The Evening Standard, however Chelsea were reluctant to meet Napoli’s asking price of £60 million and were forced to look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements, finally opting to bring David Luiz back to Stamford Bridge, concluding a £34 million deal on deadline day.
Koulibaly has made four league appearances so far this season, with his fine displays at the heart of the Napoli defence helping the club rise to the summit of Serie A. Having now cemented his long-term future, the defender will be hopeful the club can retain their top spot.
With the ex-Genk man in fine fettle, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis was delighted that the defender had committed his future to the club, confirming the extension of Koulibaly’s contract with the Naples-based side on Twitter (via The Evening Standard).
“I’m happy to announce that Kalidou Koulibaly has signed a new contract extension with Napoli until 2021.”
Sono felice di annunciare che Kalidou Koulibaly ha rinnovato il contratto con il Napoli fino al 2021 #ADL
— AurelioDeLaurentiis (@ADeLaurentiis) September 19, 2016
Capped six times by Senegal, the former France Under-20 international began his professional career in France with Metz, before moving to Belgian side Genk in 2012. His fine performances in Belgium, where he won the Belgian Cup in 2013, prompted Napoli to acquire the defender in a £7 million deal in 2014.
Since joining the Serie A side the 25-year-old has gone on to make 85 appearances, and his performances in the Napoli defence tempted new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to attempt to sign the defender as a long-term replacement for 35-year-old John Terry.
However, with Koulibaly committing his future to Napoli the onus is now on Conte, and Chelsea, to look for alternatives.
Steven Parkhill, Pundit Arena
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