Napoli Set Mammoth Asking Price For Chelsea Linked Centre-Back

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has identified a mammoth asking price for Chelsea defensive target Kalidou Koulibaly this summer.

The Senegalese defender has emerged as one of the best centre-backs in Serie A over the last few seasons and has been on the radar of several clubs because of his performances.

Chelsea wanted to sign him in the summer of 2016, but Napoli managed to convince him to sign a new deal and continue playing for the Campanian outfit in Italy.

Koulibaly’s future is again up for discussion in the summer, with Chelsea reportedly keen to rekindle their interest in the defender and take him to west London.

Napoli’s resolve to hold on to the 26-year-old centre-half has only tightened and according to Italian broadcaster Rai Sport, the club has set a mammoth asking price to scare his suitors away.

It has been claimed that Napoli president De Laurentiis wants a transfer fee of €120m for the defender before he agrees to sell the player to any other club this summer.

Napoli signed the defender for a little less than €8m from Genk in 2014, but his performances in Italy have shot up his market value and the club are aware that he is a wanted centre-back.

Koulibaly has a contract until 2021 with the Serie A giants.

Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois insists he knows all there is about Romelu Lukaku’s game as pair prepare to go head-to-head in FA Cup final

Thibaut Courtois believes he has the upper hand over compatriot Romelu Lukaku when Chelsea meet Manchester United in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

The shot-stopper has known the United striker since their younger days, coming into the Belgium squad around the same time at a young age and playing alongside each other at Chelsea.

That background leads Courtois to believe that he knows the ins and outs of Lukaku’s game, but the striker has excelled at United this season – becoming their number one attacking threat and scoring 27 times across all competitions.

Courtois insists he is the man Antonio Conte’s side will be looking to stop this weekend, and the 26-year-old is confident he has the advantage over his opponent.

‘Romelu has no more secrets for me, everyone knows him, Courtois told the Mirror.

‘He is powerful, fast, has a good shot, is good with the head and I know his qualities and faults — to know where he is going to shoot. He is important for Manchester so hopefully, we can keep him out of the match.’

Courtois and Chelsea have suffered a disappointing league season, ending the campaign on a sour note courtesy of a 3-0 defeat by Newcastle on the final day.

The FA Cup final presents an opportunity to salvage something from the season, and Courtois says that the esteem in which the competition is held means it is one he is desperate to lift.

‘I’m not nervous,’ he added. ‘It’s just healthy adrenaline because it is a top match. A large stadium. Healthy adrenaline makes you play better.

‘We have already won the League Cup [in 2015]. That’s a nice trophy, but the FA Cup has more prestige. As a player, you always want to win prizes. Certainly, the ones that you haven’t already won before.’

The FA Cup final kicks off at 5.15pm on Saturday, and is live on BBC One and BT Sport 2.

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