Chelsea Complete £34 Million Transfer Of Kalidou Koulibaly From Napoli
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Chelsea have completed the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for a fee of £34 million, it has been confirmed.
The 31-year-old becomes the second signing of the summer after Raheem Sterling’s arrival was confirmed from Manchester City.
Koulibaly is the first defensive acquisition for Thomas Tuchel, penning a four-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
He will reunite with former Napoli teammate Jorginho in west London, as well as link up with Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Chelsea struck a deal with Napoli, a club they’ve had tricky dealings with in the past, to finally land Koulibaly, a player they have been interested in for many years.
Tuchel drove the interest for the central defender and co-owner Todd Boehly has got a deal over the line, playing a key role in negotiations and impressing the Serie A side during talks.
Barcelona were interested in the Senegal centre-back but Chelsea have won the race and he is now a Blue.
Koulibaly has joined up with the rest of the squad in America for their US tour as they take Club America, Charlotte FC and Arsenal.
Speaking to the official Chelsea website upon his arrival, Koulibaly said: "I’m very happy to be here with this team at Chelsea.
"It’s a big team in the world and my dream was always to play in the Premier League.
"Chelsea came first to get me in 2016 but we didn’t make it. Now when they came to me I accepted it because they really wanted me to come to the Premier League to play for them.
"When I spoke to my good friends Edou and Jorginho they made my choice easier so I’m really happy to be with you today.
"I want to thank the fans because I saw a lot of them in London and on the plane everybody was happy for me to be here. So I want to thank them and I hope the season will be really good and we will give some good moments to the fans."
Co-owner, Todd Boehly added: "Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the world’s elite defenders and we are delighted to be welcoming him to Chelsea.
"A great leader and an exemplary team player, Kalidou brings a wealth of experience and attributes that will benefit our squad and the club as a whole."
Koulibaly bolsters the defence which has come to the delight of Thomas Tuchel, who noted: "He’s now the second signing of the summer and again we have a strong player, a strong personality with big experience.
"From our point of view, he’s a perfect addition to the group."