Reports: Barcelona to hijack Chelsea's move for £62 million superstar in January
What's the story?
Ah, the January transfer window - that ever-alluring season of opportunity and hope where clubs try to rectify whatever wrongs they may have done in the summer or try to address the running repairs that have become so vital in modern day football.
Chelsea had earlier identified central-defense as an area that needed some urgent running repairs, and Antonio Conte had looked fondly across to the Serie A and identified Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli SSC as jus the man for the job... Napoli had reportedly slapped a £62 million price tag on and things were going swimmingly well till the Catalans of Barcelona decided that they too needed a defender, and as Bleacher Report have reported it the Spanish giants are all set to hijack the deal from right under Chelsea's nose!
In case you didn't know
Koulibaly moved from first club Metz to Genk in 2012, where his impressive displays earned him a move to Napoli for £6.5 million... and here we are 3 years later, his value having increased an incredible ten-fold... he had a great year last year making it to the CAF Team of the Year 2016 as well as the Serie A Team of the Year 2016 - and he continues to impress for high-flying Napoli
The heart of the matter
Koulibaly, though, is utterly content with his lot at Napoli right now and is a fervent admirer of his charismatic manager Maurizio Sarri, recently saying about the chain-smoking ex-banker, “He rediscovered me, he gave me confidence. He really is a genius, he sees things others don't see. He makes you understand how football is and isn't unpredictable. He's a scholar. Any question you ask him, he always has an answer—and it's always right. He helps you to think as a team and not as an individual. When he arrived he told me: 'Do as I say and you'll become an important player.' I'm trying, but I know I can still improve."
But then again, the world of football runs on money and if either Barcelona or Chelsea set the right price, we may just see the Senegalese move to one of them.
Here's Kalidou Koulibaly in action
You'd really like to have him on your side, wouldn't you?
While Chelsea have quite a number of high-quality defenders Koulibaly would still make a great addition to the team and add a different dimension to it - since he is so comfortable on the ball. He's used toa 2-man defensive system, though, and it remains to be seen if a shift to a back three will help his cause.
Barcelona, however, have a real dearth of quality in their defensive ranks - what with Gerard Pique on the wrong side of 30, and the 26-year-old Koulibaly and his brilliant passing game would form a perfect partnership with the Samuel Umtiti, whose performances are improving week-in and week-out