With the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly, Chelsea FC have implemented a third of what Thomas Tuchel is planning after the centre-back shake-up. Another duo is already being traded.
Kalidou Koulibaly leaves SSC Napoli for a handsome transfer fee – this headline has been expected in almost every transfer period in recent years. Now it is reality.
The now 31-year-old centre-back leaves the Serie A club from Vesuvius after eight years and joins Chelsea FC for a rumoured 40 million euros, who will sign him to a four-year contract. And FC Bayern were apparently not entirely uninvolved.
For Koulibaly, Chelsea break a long-standing rule
For: Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel was originally said to have favoured Matthijs de Ligt (22) from Juventus before Bayern got serious about the Dutchman, dashing the Blues’ hopes. Instead, the subject of Koulibaly became hot at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea even abandoning a long-standing credo for him: the new club management around Todd Boehly waved through a multi-year contract for an over-30 player. “It’s a big team in the world and my dream has always been to play in the Premier League,” Koulibaly reasoned.
With the experienced Senegalese international and reigning Africa Cup winner, who moved to Napoli from KRC Genk in 2014, Tuchel gets an aggressive two-way player with a good opening – who should nevertheless be just the beginning. After the departures on loan of Antonio Rüdiger (29, Real Madrid) and Andreas Christensen (26, FC Barcelona), Chelsea are apparently looking to sign two more centre-backs to complete the shake-up.
Aké? Kimpembe? Chelsea want more centre-backs
The names Nathan Aké (27, Manchester City) and Presnel Kimpembe (26, Paris St. Germain) have recently come into focus. The reigning English champions are unlikely to let the former go. Tuchel knows and appreciates the latter from their days together at PSG. In London, the reigning world champion could also play together again with veteran Thiago Silva (37). According to the “Guardian”, Jules Koundé from Sevilla FC has also become a focus of attention.
In any case, Chelsea is willing to strengthen the squad with many millions after the change of ownership. In view of the armament of the Premier League competition, Tuchel recently warned that he would continue to sign “top quality” players. With Raheem Sterling (27, ManCity) and Koulibaly, the first signals have been sent that live up to this label.