Napoli make key Kalidou Koulibaly decision amid Chelsea transfer links

Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly has been named in Napoli’s 23-man squad ahead of the restart of this season’s Uefa Champions League, despite having been linked with a move to Chelsea in recent weeks.

The centre-back, who is considered by many as one of the best centre-backs in world football, has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge of late, as Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard looks to strengthen his defensive options.

Having conceded 54 goals in the Premier League during the 2019/20 campaign, Chelsea are desperate to add a new centre-back to their ranks, with Koulibaly having been closely linked with a summer move to West London.

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Despite reports in the national and international media claiming that Chelsea are closing in on a deal for the former Genk star, it appears as though that is not true, with the defender having been named in Napoli’s squad for the closing stages of this season’s Champions League.

The Serie A club face Spanish heavyweights Barcelona in the second-leg of their last-16 tie on Saturday evening, with the scores evenly balanced after the first leg ended 1-1 all the way back in February.

Koulibaly has been one of Napoli’s key players this season, racking up 33 appearances in all competitions, including six outings in the Champions League, though he missed the first-leg of the tie with Barcelona because of a thigh injury.

Last month, Cristiano Giuntoli – Napoli’s sporting director – revealed that the club had yet to receive any formal offers for the defender despite reported interest from both Chelsea and Manchester City.

“At this moment, we haven’t received any offers,” Giuntoli told DAZN, via Goal.

“Koulibaly had important offers in the past and a great deal of interest, but we are in no rush to make decisions.

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“We consider our players important and will discuss the situation with them.”

Koulibaly is reportedly valued at around £90million by the Serie A outfit, meaning it would take a massive offer to lure him away from the San Paolo Stadium in Naples.

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