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'Determined' Chelsea set to make €40 million Kalidou Koulibaly bid

Antonio Conte is apparently dead set on bringing Koulibaly to England.

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It's no secret at this point that Kalidou Koulibaly wants out of Napoli, and it's just as well known that Chelsea are chasing after him. The defender-needy English club are under new management now that Antonio Conte is officially done with the Italy national team, and the big, athletic Senegalese defender is believed to be at the top of his shopping list as he looks to restructure a defense that was a grave disappointment even for a team that underachieved as a whole last season.

To that end, Chelsea are apparently ready to make a €40 million offer to Napoli to try and land Koulibaly, a bid worth €10 million more than their last stab at acquiring the defender. While Napoli quickly rejected that €30 million bid, more recent degradations in their relationship with Koulibaly may make them more inclined to accept this improved offer should it arrive.

It makes a lot of sense that Conte and Chelsea would want Koulibaly. He has all the physical prowess and then some to bang around with the more physical attackers of the EPL, and the technical skills to deal with the trickier players too. With Chelsea's central defenders plagued by age, mediocrity, and injury last season, they need a big injection of both talent and fresh blood, and Koulibaly brings both.

Plus add in the fact that Conte would have seen plenty of Koulibaly over the last two years while watching the various Italy national team players he regularly shut down, and it should come as no surprise that Chelsea would move so aggressively for him. It would also help explain why they'd be offering him a huge raise on his wages -- supposedly Chelsea have a contract offer ready worth more than double the extension Napoli had offered Koulibaly earlier in the summer, which already would have more than doubled his current wages.

It will be a shame to see a player as talented as Koulibaly go, and it's even more of a shame to see him go the way he is, amid a dark cloud of controversy and anger largely stirred up by ill-advised media comments further inflamed by his agent. But at least once Koulibaly walks out of Naples for the last time, he'll be leaving a huge pile of money behind him.