'Conversations': Chelsea are talking about signing 'one of the best' defenders alongside De Ligt – Romano

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed Chelsea are still keen to add Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly to their defence next season alongside Matthijs de Ligt.

The 31-year-old has been with the Italian side since 2014, winning the Italian cup and Super cup as a stalwart of the defence.

The Blues are keen to make multiple additions to their back line, following the confirmed exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen for free.

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The club are already strongly linked to 22-year-old De Ligt, with it being claimed he is one of Thomas Tuchel’s top targets at the back.

With Cesar Azpilicueta also potentially on his way out, the need to add more than one name at the back is imperative going into the new season.

Chelsea in conversations over Koulibaly

Chelsea’s interest in Koulibaly has been widely reported all summer – but more recently it seems that they have focussed their attention on other targets.

With that being said, Romano claims the club have now started conversations regarding signing Koulibaly, with there still being potential for a double swoop in Italy.

The Senegal international has drawn praise from prior managers, with former boss Carlo Ancelotti describing him as one of the ‘best in the world’ in his position.

Being able to play in either centre-back role could be a major benefit to Chelsea completing the deal, with the left-hand-side currently not having an obvious choice for a starter.

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Koulibaly would also provide more experience to play alongside De Ligt, adding to Thiago Silva as a leader in the dressing room. Despite the Dutchman playing a lot of football in his young career, competing for places with players such as these two will certainly help with his development.

The Blues are also interested in Jules Kounde, with it being reported that they have upped their interest again in the last few hours in finally confirming a deal for the Sevilla man.

However, with the Frenchman potentially operating as a right-back to start the season, the club would still need to invest heavily at the back in order to compete at the top of the table.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.