Just In: Chelsea Signs Koulibaly From Napoli

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Kalidou Koulibaly has officially been acquired by Chelsea from Napoli for a reported sum of £33.8 million (€40 million).

The center back from Senegal, whose contract at Napoli had just one year left, has now agreed to a four-year agreement at Stamford Bridge.

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Koulibaly has consistently been linked with a transfer away from Naples in recent years. He has excelled since transferring from Belgian club Genk to Serie A in 2014.

Since the end of the previous season, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, a defensive duo, have both departed Chelsea for Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.

After being connected with deals for Nathan Ake, Jules Kounde, and Matthijs de Ligt, the Blues attempted to find replacements by signing Koulibaly.

Koulibaly referred to his impending move to the Premier League as a “dream come true” in the club’s statement.

“I’m very happy to be here with this team at Chelsea,” he said. “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. When I spoke to my good friends Edou [Mendy] and Jorginho they made my choice easier, so I’m really happy to be with you today.”

Koulibaly assisted Napoli in winning the Supercoppa Italiana shortly after moving to Italy, as well as three second-place finishes in Serie A and the Coppa Italia in 2020.

He played in 27 games for Luciano Spalletti’s team in 2021–22, which saw them place third in the standings.

No defender in the Italian top division has won more tackles or completed more successful passes than Koulibaly (344) since moving to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona (14,528).