Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd Reportedly Set Sights on Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly

Alex Keble@alexkebleFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2018

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, right, challenges for the ball with Feyenoord's Jeremiah St. Juste, left, during a Champions League Group F soccer match between Feyenoord and Napoli at the Kuip stadium in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly could be on his way out of the club this summer, with some of Europe's biggest sidesincluding Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester Unitedready to bid for the Senegal international, per James Nursey for the Mirror.

The 26-year-old has been at the heart of the Napoli defence as Maurizio Sarri's team challenge Juventus for the Serie A title. Napoli are top of the table, but their lead over the Old Lady, who have a game in hand, was cut to just one point on Saturday when the league leaders lost 4-2 at home to AS Roma.

Koulibaly has enjoyed four successful years in Naples but could be set for a move to the Premier League regardless of whether his current team lift the Serie A title.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea are likely to try to sign the centre-half early in the summer rather than wait until after the FIFA World Cup, according to Nursey's report.

NAPLES, ITALY - MARCH 03:  Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli in action during the serie A match between SSC Napoli and AS Roma - Serie A at Stadio San Paolo on March 3, 2018 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

The powerful defender would be a welcome signing for Arsenal fans. The Gunners have struggled defensively this season, conceding 10 goals in their last four matches in all competitions and losing six of their last eight competitive fixtures.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have a host of top-quality centre-backs in their squad, although Gary Cahill's recent spell on the bench suggests they may be looking at fresh options. The Blues have shipped 26 league goals this season, conceding at roughly the same rate as they did in their title-winning 2016-17 campaign, in which they recorded 33 goals against. 

Manchester United employ Roland Janssen, the man who reportedly "discovered" the 26-year-old while he was chief scout at KRC Genk, so they remain interested, per Nursey. The Belgian club signed Koulibaly from Metz in 2012, and he joined Napoli in 2014.

Last summer, Chelsea reportedly lodged an unsuccessful £52.5 million bid for Koulibaly, per TMW (h/t Anthony Chapman for The Sun), and had offered £40 million the season before shortly after Antonio Conte was appointed head coach.

However, interest in the Napoli defender's services has reportedly increased, with Chelsea facing stiff competition from their English rivals.

With Napoli conceding just 19 Serie A goals so far this season, it is no surprise Koulibaly is in high demand. 

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