Chelsea face competition from Barcelona in the race to sign Serie A €60m-rated defender


Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has established himself as of the brightest centre-halves in Serie A, and so reports of interest from Chelsea and Barcelona aren't a surprise.

The 26-year-old arrived in Italy in 2014 after following brilliant spells in Belgium and France, and has taken his game to the next level with Napoli, particularly under Maurizio Sarri.

While Sarri's side sit atop the Serie A table, the Serie giants brilliant run is as result of the likes of Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon.

However, they've conceded just five goals so far this season and they had the third best defensive record in the Italian top flight last year. While that's not all down to Koulibaly, the commanding and strong centre-back is certainly the main reason as to why Napoli's defence have been so difficult to tear apart.

He has been sensation for Sarri so far this season and he's shown his goal threat too scoring two goals in eight league games. The problem for Napoli however, is that interest from elsewhere refuses to go away.

According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have now Chelsea in the race to sign the Senegalese, while it's claimed that it could take a bid of up €60m to now prise him away from Napoli.

The Blues haven't been really strong at the back this season, conceding eight goals in eight matches in the Premier League. With Gary Cahill receiving criticism for poor performances, this also falls on the likes of David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger, and so perhaps Antonio Conte may feel that he still needs to strengthen in that department.

With regards to Barcelona, Gerard Pigue turns 31 next February and the Spaniard may need to be replaced in the long-term, but shouldn't really be an issue for the Catalan giants as Pigue still has plenty to offer.

Barca's summer signing, Samuel Umiti, has impressed and is still just 23 year of age, but perhaps that’s not enough for Barca who need strength in depth and quality across the board to compete on various fronts and it appears as though they now have their eyes on Koulibaly.

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