June 6, 2023


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Chelsea complete signing of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli

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Chelsea have completed the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for a reported fee of £33.8million (€40m).

The Senegal international centre-back had just one year remaining on his Napoli deal, and has now signed a four-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

Koulibaly has been continuously linked with a move away from Naples in recent years, having impressed since moving to Serie A from Belgian side Genk in 2014.

Defensive pair Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have both left Chelsea for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively since the end of last season.

And the Blues have now moved to find replacements by adding Koulibaly, having previously been linked with deals for Nathan Ake, Jules Kounde and Matthijs de Ligt.

In the club’s statement, Koulibaly called it a dream come true to be headed to the Premier League.

“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 helped Napoli to three second-place finishes in Serie A and to Coppa Italia success in 2020, as well as winning the Supercoppa Italiana shortly after he arrived in Italy.

He made 27 appearances for Luciano Spalletti’s side in 2021-22, as they finished third in the table.

Since arriving at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, no defender in the Italian top flight has won more tackles than Koulibaly (344), or made more successful passes (14,528).

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