Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed that Chelsea made a host of offers for defender Kalidou Koulibaly over the summer, with as much as £50 million on the table from the Premier League side.

Antonio Conte clearly has ambitions of playing with three at the back at Stamford Bridge, with the Italian trainer reverting to this system in the second half against Arsenal and from the start against Hull City recently.

Chelsea brought David Luiz back to the Premier League on transfer deadline day, but Koulibaly was rumbled as a potential Blues target earlier in the summer.

The powerhouse centre-half has impressed since moving to Naples from Belgian football and played an important role in Maurizio Sarri’s side finishing as Serie A runners-up last term.

De Laurentiis, who is known for his outrageous comments and erratic behaviour, has admitted that Conte was committed to landing Koulibaly over the summer.

“They offered to me £30, 35, 40, 45, 50 [million],” the Napoli owner told Sky Sports.

“Mr. Conte I said, ‘[The] marina is behind me, follow me’, I offered him that.

“Last moment, two days before the closing of the market, I hear £58 [million] – something like that.”

It will be interesting to see if Chelsea return for Koulibaly in the future, with talk in the press that Conte wants to add an extra centre-half to his contingent in January.


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