Chelsea could offset their raft of defensive losses by signing Kalidou Koulibaly as phase one of a double deal, while an Arsenal star could be used to lure a full-back to north London – both in Thursday’s Euro Paper Talk.
KOULIBALY TO REPLACE RUDIGER?
Chelsea are facing something of a defensive crisis this summer. Antonio Rudiger will join Real Madrid as a free agent, while Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta have both been heavily linked with Barcelona.
All three have primarily operated at centre-back in the Thomas Tuchel era and, given the German operates with a back three, excellent strength in depth is required.
Should the trio depart, Chelsea would still have Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr on the books. However, a team competing on four fronts each season can not rely on so few options.
As such, Caught Offside suggests two new centre-halves will be signed this summer – once the club’s sanctions are lifted.
Those restrictions will be removed once the new owners are in place. And per the report, Napoli ace Koulibaly is being targeted to lead the new back-line.
Koulibaly will be 31 by the time next season begins, though he remains an elite-level operator in Naples.
The report cites Calciomercato journalist Matteo Moretto, who noted Chelsea had made contact with Koulibaly’s agent, Fali Ramadani.
'Super’ Koulibaly offers required
At the season's end, Koulibaly will have just one year left on his Napoli deal. As such, this summer could be the ideal time to cash in if it becomes apparent he won’t pen fresh terms.
Regardless, the journalist insisted a'super offer’ may still be required, though he stopped short of suggesting how much that might be.
Caught Offside’s article hinted at who the second target could be in a double deal, and his name is a very familiar one to Blues fans.
Kalidou Koulibaly: Chelsea target Kalidou Koulibaly
Chelsea are looking into Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly as their search for a defender continues.
Jules Kounde is once again mentioned, with Sky Sports’ previous insistence that he wishes to leave Sevilla this summer cited.
Kounde was chased by Chelsea last summer, though Sevilla were in a strong bargaining position and did not buckle.
TEAMtalk learned on Monday that the 23-year-old is now almost certain to leave Seville 12 months later.
ARSENAL MULLING UDEINESE SWAP
Arsenal hope to use Udinese loanee Pablo Mari as bait to lure 24-year-old full-back Nahuel Molina the other way. Molina operates primarily at right-back and has earned 15 caps for Argentina since making his debut in 2021. (TuttoUdinese)
Liverpool won’t take the bait and alter their transfer plans in the wake of Man City’s move for Erling Haaland. (Fabrizio Romano)
Paulo Dybala has a new suitor to go along with Man Utd, Arsenal and Tottenham. Inter Milan have now registered their interest in the free agent-to-be. (The Sun)
Legendary Italian centre-back Giorgio Chiellini has received two approaches from MLS clubs about ending his career in America. The 37-year-old recently confirmed that this would be his last season at Juventus. (The Sun)
Newcastle have joined Man Utd in the sweepstakes for Napoli marksman, Victor Osimhen. However, the 23-year-old will likely cost more than the £67m he arrived in Naples for if he moves this summer. (Calciomercato)
MAN UTD, FRENKIE DE JONG UPDATES
Barcelona will attempt to hold out for €100m for Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong. (Sport)
Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag will push to sign De Jong, and initial contact has been made. However, the fact that he desires Champions League football may complicate matters. (Fabrizio Romano)
Tottenham have bid twice for Torino right-wingback Wilfred Singo. An offer higher than their last €25m bid is required to forge an agreement. (Tuttosport)
Everton are mulling a raid for promising Manchester City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu. (Irish Independent)
The brother of Saul Niguez has revealed the midfielder is odds-on to return to Atletico Madrid this summer. Chelsea have an option around the £30m mark, though it’s unlikely to be triggered. (SER Deportivos)
The return of former West Ham striker Sebastian Haller could help offset the loss of Erling Haaland at Borussia Dortmund. The Ajax frontman is being lined up to follow Karim Adeyemi through the door. (The Sun)
LIVERPOOL CONFIDENT OF SCOTLAND STEAL
Liverpool are confident of securing a £4m deal to sign Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay. (90 min)
Paul Pogba could have an escape route to Germany, with Bayern Munich the latest to register their interest in a free agent pick-up. (Fijaches)
PSG are among the other clubs interested in the Man Utd man, though they must shed his salary first before making an offer. (RMC Sport)
Brazilian left-back Marcelo wishes to extend his stay at the Bernabeu, though whether Real Madrid offers the 33-year-old free agent a new deal remains to be seen. (Marca)
Southampton are prepared to 'throw themselves’ at Wolfsburg winger Josip Brekalo if his anticipated move to Torino breaks down. Brekalo is on loan at Torino and must decide whether to trigger his €11m option to buy before Sunday, May 15. (Tuttosport)