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SOCCER

Chelsea close to closing second reinforcement in defence

Negotiations for Koulibaly are at an advanced stage. The operation would cost 40 million euros. Koulibaly would become Tuchel’s second signing of the summer after Nathan Aké.

Update:
Kalidou Koulibaly celebrando la victoria frente al Parma tras el pitido final del colegiado.
CARLO HERMANNAFP

Kalidou Koulibaly is set to become Thomas Tüchel’s second defensive reinforcement in the next few hours. After the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger, and with the possibility that César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso could follow them, Chelsea may need to completely rebuild their back four. The the cornerstone of that reconstruction will be Napoli’s imposing centre-back Koulibaly.

Details of the deal have been advanced by The Athletic, who report that Chelsea are negotiating with Napoli for Koulibaly with a 40 million euro fee cited. While talks continue, an agreement is believed to be close. One agree on a free, the Senegal international will become the Blues second recruit of the summer after Nathan Aké, who looks set to return to his old club. A third new arrival is also expected.

Tüchel wants three experienced players to rebuild his battered rearguard. A request that new chairman Todd Boehly seems willing to satisfy. Once Koulibaly and Aké are on board, Chelsea will pursue the next defenders on their list: Joules Koundé (Sevilla), and Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain).

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