Chelsea transfer news: Blues could make January move for star defender.

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Chelsea are weighing up a January swoop for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports.

The Blues tried and failed to strengthen their backline during the summer transfer window, as leading target Jules Kounde proved unobtainable.

Sevilla refused to let the 22-year-old leave for less than his release clause, and Chelsea did not want to pay £68.5m for the Frenchman.

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Thomas Tuchel therefore has reduced options at centre-back this season, with Kurt Zouma having joined West Ham.

The Chelsea boss could push for a defensive signing when the market reopens for business in January.

According to football.london, Koulibaly is one centre-back who the west London outfit could pursue.

The Senegal international has been linked with Chelsea in the past, particularly when Maurizio Sarri was in charge.

Now 30 years old, he would represent a shorter-term addition compared to Kounde.

But Koulibaly continues to perform at a high level in Serie A and is set to enter the final 18 months of his contract in January.

Napoli might be willing to cash in on the former Genk defender if the price is right.

Koulibaly continues to insist he is happy at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, and has never pushed for an exit despite links with high-profile clubs over the years.

“I hear that I’ll be leaving, but I’m fine here,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport last year.

“I don’t understand why we should talk about the market when there’s nothing on the horizon. There’s a new one [rumour] every day.

“You never know what happens in football. I never spoke to the club to leave. If we have to find a solution, we will, but I’ve never talked about the transfer market.

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“I read about my future in the newspapers but I only want to think about playing. I’m 100 per cent for Napoli and it bothers me being linked every day to this or that European club.”

Comments like those are unlikely to prevent Chelsea trying their luck with an offer, though, if he is indeed Tuchel’s preferred option.

The Blues could also renew their interest in Kounde, although Sevilla would presumably be desperate to avoid selling him midway through the campaign.

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