English Premier League giants Chelsea have officially completed the signing of Napoli and Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly. The top defender will join Thomas Tuchel’s squad as he continues to rebuild his team.
The 31-year-old Koulibaly has played in 26 Champions League games for Napoli since 2014, making him the perfect match for a Blues team that will be aiming for a deep run in the competition next season.
Presnel Kimpembe of Paris Saint-Germain and Matthijs de Ligt has been heavily linked with Chelsea over the past month, so Chelsea may decide to consider further strengthening their backline before the end of the summer.
The total price paid by Chelsea, including add-ons, will be £34 million ($41 million) for the proven Napoli defender. The Senegal international, who led his team to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations in February, has agreed to a four-year deal in west London that runs through the summer of 2026.
Kalidou Koulibaly will earn up to £8.5m ($10m) salary every year. The 31-year-old has already had an interview with the clubs’ official website in which he said: “I’m very happy to be here with this team at Chelsea.
“It’s a big team in the world and my dream was always to play in the Premier League. Chelsea came first to get me in 2016 but we didn’t make it. Now when they came to me I accepted it because they really wanted me to come to the Premier League to play for them.”
BREAKING: Chelsea have completed the signing of centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli on a four-year deal ✍️ pic.twitter.com/iItLQ7C2oA— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 16, 2022
Kalidou Koulibaly and Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy are from the same country and he’s also friends with Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.
The defender revealed that the two players played a role in bringing him to the club because they helped him to make the choice. He also thanked the Chelsea supporters for the warm welcome as he stated that he met some of them on the plane while coming to London.
After losing center-back Rudiger on a free transfer to Real Madrid earlier this summer and Denmark star Christensen on a free transfer to Barcelona, Chelsea needed to make a move for at least one talented defender during the transfer window.
Thiago Silva who’s also a regular starter for Thomas Tuchel will turn 38 in September and is probably nearing the end of his career in Europe. Despite high-profile departures, Koulibaly should improve the defense and help the squad remain a serious contender for major awards.
He has been recognized for some years as one of the best center-backs in Europe, and this summer, Juventus and Barcelona were both interested in signing him. Kalidou Koulibaly is the second signing the Blues have made this summer after completing the signing of Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling last week.