Chelsea are on the brink of being priced out of a move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports from the Telegraph.
The paper reports that Chelsea’s final offer for one of their long-standing transfer targets is in the region of £40m, and the London club is unwilling to go any higher than that.
After losing Kurt Zouma to injury at the end of last season, Chelsea have been making do with Gary Cahill and John Terry as the only senior, recognised centre backs, and it’s clear that Conte is targeting another to boost the ranks.
And so the same Telegraph report suggests that Napoli’s refusal to sell Koulibaly could open the door for a bid for Torino centre back Nikola Maksimovic instead. Maksimovic would be a cheaper option for Conte, and valued at £25m, and would also be cheaper than Alessio Romagnoli – for whom Chelsea have also recently seen a bid rejected.
With the end of the transfer window approaching fast, Chelsea may have to pay over the odds if they’re to land a central defender that manager Antonio Conte clearly feels he needs.