If you’ve been watching the transfer market this summer, you’ll know that clubs are demanding ridiculous fees for players.
West Bromwich Albion want £25 million for Jonny Evans, Valencia want double that for Shkodran Mustafi, and that’s just Arsenal’s troubles.
Chelsea have also been frustrated though, after being quoted £75 million for Romelu Lukaku, and £60 million for Napoli centre back, Kalidou Koulibaly.
The 6’5″ powerhouse has been monitored by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte for some time, but the Blues had given up on landing him this summer after the price went through the roof.
But now, an unlikely source could revive the move – Manchester City.
That’s because thanks to the arrival of John Stones for his own astronomical price, Pep Guardiola is willing to let Eliaquim Mangala (who is still ranked in the top five most expensive defenders of all time), leave on loan for the season.
Napoli are interested in the former FC Porto centre back, which could allow them to let Koulibaly go to Chelsea, should they still be interested in the Senegal international, according to The Times.
It’s common knowledge that Chelsea are in for another defender, after Conte urged his club to spend on reinforcements after the weekend win over Watford:
We have only five defenders – four that started today and an academy player, Ola Aina.
Ola is very good – he has great potential – but with any young player you must work to put them in the first team.
If one defender is injured or banned, then we are in trouble, but the club and me we know this and we are talking every day to improve the squad.
We know that this market is very difficult. It’s crazy. I don’t want to buy only to buy. I want to buy the right profile for Chelsea, the right investment for the solution and for the future.
If Napoli can get Mangala on loan for the season, then they may be willing to lower their asking price for Koulibaly, who said earlier this summer that he wouldn’t be signing a contract extension in Italy.
Until they get a replacement, Koulibaly won’t be allowed to leave, as Maurizio Sarri’s side have already lost Gonzalo Higuain this summer, and don’t want to lose another major player.
Another alternative for the Italians is Torino’s Serbian defender Nikola Maksimovic, who is one of the most highly rated in Italy, and expected to leave the mid-table side for a bigger club in the near future.
So the Koulibaly chase isn’t a lost cause for Chelsea, it’s just a case of getting the move done before the deadline on August 31.