We’re in the off-season for club competition, most of the international play currently being staged are meaningless friendlies, so you know what that means?
It is indeed the summer silly season, i.e. time to talk some transfer rumors, and other assorted news items. So let’s jump right in with the latest buzz surrounding Chelsea, who announced their first signing of the summer, in Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling. The English international is part of Chelsea’s makeover in the final third, and that’s the topic we focused on over here at this link.
As for this post, we’ll focus on the revamping of the back line. According to ESPN, Chelsea are poised to sign Napoli central defender Kalibou Koulibaly, for a fee in the range of €40 million.
A report today on ESPN FC reads, “Personal terms are set to be finalized on what has been described by sources as a “long-term contract.” Reports elsewhere have suggested Koulibaly, 31, has been offered a five-year deal.”
Koulibaly has strongly been linked, over and over again, with a move to Manchester United in recent years, but no so much this summer. Chelsea, who have seen both Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid) and Andreas Christensen (FC Barcelona) leave on free transfers, need to beef up the back line this summer.
They could also lose Cesar Azpilicueta, who has also agreed terms on a two-year deal to join Barcelona and is waiting for them to cobble together a £7m transfer fee to bring him over.
You knew Chelsea would splash the cash on some new defenders, as new owner Todd Boehly looks to keep the success of Roman Abramovich going while also putting his stamp on the club. Manchester City central defender Nathan Ake remains a leading target, as we have previously chronicled.
Here’s the latest on the pursuit of the Dutchman, via the Evening Standard.
Another target (and Dutch international too by the way) that we have chronicled before is Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt. However, this is one option that probably won’t be realized. He prefers a move to Bayern Munich, and it’s time to give up on this one. You can read about that over at The Express.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.Follow paulmbanks