'New meeting': Chelsea now meet with the agents of 'the best defender in the world' - Fabrizio Romano

Fabrizio Romano has claimed Chelsea have met with the agents of Kalidou Koulibaly over a potential transfer this summer.

The 31-year-old has been with Napoli for eight years, although is rumoured to be leaving this summer in the quest for a new challenge.

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He has established himself as a dominant force during his tenure in Serie A, with journeyman centre-back Guglielmo Stendardo even describing him as ‘the best defender in the world’ on All Football.

Romano has claimed that his potential availability has intrigued Chelsea, who have now progressed their interest in him by talking to his representatives this week.

He tweeted: “Kalidou Koulibaly, revealed as name in Chelsea list in June and still one of the options. New meeting with his agent took place on Monday.

“Nathan Aké deal also in negotiation, while club feels Bayern are leading the race for Matthijs de Ligt as they agreed personal terms.”

Chelsea meet with Koulibaly agents

The club had previously been interested in a deal for Juventus’ De Ligt, with him being seen as Tuchel’s number one target for a central defender.

However, Bayern Munich made their interest clear after the Blues, who are undoubtedly keen to avoid another long-running saga following that of Raphinha earlier this summer.

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The addition of Koulibaly would not only see the Blues land a sensational centre-back, but would also see them add a much-needed leader to their group, especially if Cesar Azpilicueta joins Antonio Rudiger out the exit door.

His time at the top of the game could also be crucial in the development of young defenders, with Trevoh Chalobah and Levi Colwill having another role model they can learn from.

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Adding the experienced Senegalese star to the side would complement the potential purchase of Nathan Ake from Manchester City well.

With the Dutchman being left-footed, the opportunity arises for Tuchel to stick with his current formation, allowing Ake to replace Rudiger on the left-hand-side of the back three.

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.