Premier League side Chelsea are set to abandon their long term interest in Napoli star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, particularly as the transfer window edges to a close, reports say.
Coach Antonio Conte has been in search for a defender for long, but various reasons have prevented the deal from happening. Napoli are keen to retain the defender after his sterling performance in the .
Chelsea are now open to signing another option in their list, with Torino’s Nikola Maksimovic now the leading contender. The 24-year old Serbia international has been compared with former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic by many. Vidic also a Serbian built quite a reputation after joining Old Trafford before his eventual departure. Torino say the defender is not on the market but Chelsea are insisting on getting him to help with their defensive woes this summer.
Chelsea are willing to beat the offer Napoli made for Maksimovic. Napoli wanted to land the talented player for £21.5 million, but the Blues are willing to surpass the bid. The goals conceded by the team in the games played so far is ensuring Conte doesn’t relent in getting in getting help before the window closes. Maksimovic has an imposing stature towering 6ft 3in, with striking similarities in height and aptitude making fans name him ‘the next Nemanja Vidic’ in Serbia.
Aside Maksimovic, Chelsea could land AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli after they lost out in getting the signature of John Stones from Everton. Stones moved to City for £50 million to play under Pep Guardiola. Chelsea might have to settle for the Milan defender, as Napoli hint that they would not release Koulibaly even if they get Maksimovic this summer, especially after losing star striker Gonzalo Higuain to a rival.