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Rumour Reel: Conte’s Chelsea make Koulibaly bid in hope of boosting Blues defence

| 18.08.2016

Lee Gormley | August 18, 2016

The Premier League made its welcomed return to action last weekend after a summer of international football at Euro 2016 and the Olympics, but as the campaign begins there are still transfer dealings to be done.

Chelsea make Koulibaly bid

One club hoping to bolster their ranks for the new term are Chelsea, with Antonio Conte aiming to land Napoli and and Senegal international defender Kalidou Koulibaly, with the Serie A star being valued at £40m by his current employers.

Italy Soccer Serie A

Former Italy boss Conte is believed to hold the African centre back as his number one defensive target for the remainder of the summer transfer window, as he looks for more quality to help out skipper John Terry and compatriot Gary Cahill, with Kurt Zouma coming back from injury.

As Chelsea make a Koulibaly bid, Napoli are still very reluctant to let their defensive stalwart depart, with the pacey and powerful 25-year-old having become a pivotal member of Maurizio Sarri’s Little Donkeys since arriving from Genk in 2014 for £6.5.

The Italian outfit may try to hold out for an even bigger offer, potentially to warn off the Londoners from poaching their man, as they aren’t in need of the funds after receiving €90m from Juventus for Gonzalo Higuain.

Gunners face Evans rejections from Baggies

Arsenal were surprisingly linked with a move for West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans in this summer market and, after beginning to pursue the Northern Ireland international, the Baggies are reportedly set to reject their £16m bid.

Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League - Selhurst Park

The Baggies defender was outstanding in his club’s 1-0 away victory over Crystal Palace in their Premier League opener last weekend, having deputised at left back against tricky Eagles wingers, possibly increasing the Gunners’ interest.

Arsene Wenger has been rocked by a defensive injury crisis this summer, with the Frenchman having had to start Calum Chambers and new signing Rob Holding in the heart of his defence for Arsenal’s opening 4-3 loss to Liverpool.

Evans would be an unexpected arrival at the Emirates if the Gunners can pull off such a switch, and one that fans may not be entirely happy with, though the Belfast-born former Manchester United defender may see this as another great career move.

Wilson tracked by Championship clubs

With Jose Mourinho having added Zlatan Ibrahimovic to his ranks this summer, as well as having Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford, the Portuguese tactician is reportedly willing to let young striker James Wilson depart Old Trafford on loan.

Derby County v Brighton & Hove Albion - Sky Bet Championship - iPro Stadium

The Red Devils starlet has now become the centre of a tug-of-war between Championships clubs, as both Derby County and Fulham battle it out to secure his year-long signature, which would significantly boost their chances of promotion this season.

Wilson, still just 20 years of age, has already spent time on loan at Brighton and Hove Albion last term, with the England Under-21 international grabbing five goals in 28 appearances for the Seagulls.

The Man Utd academy graduate has not been given a squad number by United ahead of the first half of this campaign and is set to follow Adnan Januzaj out on loan, with the latter winger having joined Sunderland for the season, where Paddy McNair and Donald Love also arrived permanently.


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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.