Chelsea are still keen on Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly despite having a £42million bid rejected, reports the London Evening Standard.
It could take as much as £50million to force Napoli to sell, but the Serie A side will almost certainly have to give in eventually as the player has made it clear he wants to go.
It’s been a tough summer for the club, who finished second last season, losing Gonzalo Higuain and now potentially Koulibaly.
The Senegalese centre-back’s move to Stamford Bridge could therefore hinge on whether Napoli can replace him with Torino’s Nikola Maksimovic, for whom they recently saw a £21million offer turned down.
Chelsea may have been pushed into action by Manchester City’s signing of John Stones, who was one of their targets. What with Stones going to City and Leonardo Bonucci staying at Juventus, Antonio Conte is running out of options to sign, though he has also identified Benfica’s Victor Lindelof as a possible target.
Conte may be forced to play John Terry more than he would have liked unless he can get the Koulibaly deal over the line, and Chelsea’s defence is in serious need of a new face.