Arsenal reportedly join Chelsea in £53m race for Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly to help sure-up defence

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Arsenal reportedly join Chelsea in £53m race for Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly to help sure-up defence

ARSENAL have joined Chelsea in race for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports.

But the Gunners failure to qualify for the Champions League could prove costly as the Daily Express claim the Italians value the Senegal international at £53milllion.

Kalidou Koulibaly is wanted by ArsenalALESSANDRO GAROFALO

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wanted the 26-year-old at Stamford Bridge two years ago.

But Conte was left frustrated as the Serie A side priced the defender out of a move to the Premier League, but a move to West London could be back on after the World Cup.

Whoever replaces Arsene Wenger will need defensive reinforcements as Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers have all fail to convince.

Per Mertesacker is retiring and the experienced and Laurent Koscielny out for months with a serious Achilles injury.

Chelsea were chasing Kalidou Koulibaly two years agoAFP or licensors Max Allegri has been linked with Arsenal job but could land Kalidou Koulibaly if he stays at JuventusEPA Laurent Koscielny is out long-term with Achilles injuryREUTERS

Napoli will trouser around £50m if they allow Jorginho to leave – Manchester City are favourites for his signature, which allows them to slap a huge valuation on their defender.

Koulibaly is contracted at the Sao Paolo until 2021 and they know they are in a battle to keep him next season with Juventus closely monitoring his situation.

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The Senegalese star’s agent Bruno Sati reckons his client is good enough to play at the highest level and his future could depend on boss Maurizio Sarri remaining in charge next season.

Sarri has been strongly linked with replacing Conte at Chelsea in the summer and is due to have talks with president Aurelio De Laurentiis at the end of the campaign.

Satin said: “It’s too early to talk about the future.

“The lad will play until the end of the season to try and get as many points as possible.

“Clearly this is a World Cup year, so it’s a particular year and we’ll have to see how the (Maurizio) Sarri issue will end, that could definitely have an impact.

“Kalidou at Juve? He’s at a level where he could play anywhere.”

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