Napoli mulling over suing Chelsea following Kalidou Koulibaly revelation, claims President
Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis is considering suing English Premier League giants Chelsea following claims from defender Kalidou Koulibaly that he was considering a move away from Stadio San Paolo in the summer and has a number of offers from big clubs around the world.
The 24-year-old had a breakthrough season at Naples as he helped Maurizio Sarri’s side to a second-placed finish in the Serie A. The Senegalese international, who made 42 appearances for the Partenopei last season, has seen his stock rise in the last 12 months and new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is said to be interested in bringing the 24-year-old to Stamford Bridge.
According to De Laurentiis, the Naples outfit is set to incur losses in the tune of millions due to the comments from the 24-year-old. The 67-year-old was also critical of the behaviour of the Senegalese international and his agent and claimed that he expected a higher level of professionalism from Koulibaly.
De Laurentiis claimed that the club was close to finalising deals for the image rights of the Senegalese, but following the statements from the 24-year-old the Naples outfit cannot sell his jerseys anymore. He also stated that specialists were studying the scenario to examine the possibility of suing Chelsea for the damages.
"The moment I realise you and your agent haven't read the contracts properly before signing them... I cannot tolerate that.
"Napoli were about to sign new commercial deals to use Koulibaly's image, but his statements cancelled those opportunities. His jersey cannot be sold now.
"He created damages worth millions of euros, and I have specialists studying the issue now."
“If we discovered that Chelsea were behind this, we could sue them for damages too. Koulibaly is 24 years old, he is not a kid and will continue working for us for the three years on his contract -- maybe many more, until he's paid off the damages to Napoli."
Koulibaly had revealed that although there was no contact from the Blues so far, he was expecting some movement from the London club in the near future. The former Genk man also claimed that he was ready to approach interested clubs in order to force a move away from Stadio San Paolo.
The 24-year-old, who has three years left on his contract with the Naples outfit, divulged that he was offered a five-year extension by the club last summer, but he is now focussed on making a decision for the betterment of his career as he has not been approached by the Partenopei for a renewal this time around.
"No, I haven't spoken to him [Conte] yet but it could happen soon," Koulibaly was quoted as saying by L’Equipe.
"And if nothing happens with Napoli, I'm going to start making contact with other clubs.
"I have three years left on my contract with Napoli. I was very happy to sign for five years at the time but I've done some very good things this season and there are offers on the table.
"I'm going to make the most favourable choice, not only financially but also on a sporting level -- clubs of a high standing want me and I've had no sign from Napoli.”
It is believed that Conte will be looking to reinforce his defence in the summer which conceded 53 goals in the league last season - second only to Stoke City in the top 10.
Although the Blues’ iconic captain John Terry agreed on a one-year contract extension last month, question marks over his ability as a world-class defender has been raised on many occasions during last season.
The Stamford Bridge outfit need to find a commanding centre-back during the transfer window if they are to challenge for top honours in the upcoming season.