Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is a target for a number of Premier League clubs
The Blues have been bounced into making a move for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, reports The Sun, with the club fearful that Arsenal and Manchester United are both now interested in signing the strapping Senegal international.
Chelsea had a £40m offer for Koulibaly knocked back last summer and rumours earlier in the year suggested they may have another crack at prising him from the Serie A at the end of the season. But with United known to be scouting for back four replacements, and Arsenal ready to carry out a major overhaul of their squad to greet their new manager, Chelsea have decided to strike while the iron is hot.
To that end, says the Sun, they “are preparing a £65m bid”, and are cautiously optimistic it will enough to land Koulibaly.
Italian rag Il Mattino says that Chelsea are “willing to up their opening bid” of £65m, and could go even higher if either United or United join the chase for a player who’s taken Napoli to second in Serie A just one point behind leaders Juventus.
Meanwhile the Daily Star reports that Barcelona star Lionel Messi had told the board to dilly-dally no longer and sign Marcos Alonso. Normally reliable-ish Spanish outlet Don Balon claims that the defender has so impressed Messi that he feels he “would provide competition for places at the Nou Camp”.  Goal.com also mentions the link, adding that Barcelona regard Alonso as the man to replace Gerard Pique at the heart of their defence because of his “height, ball skills and tactical awareness”.