Chelsea have failed with a £19.2m ($28m) bid for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly with the Serie A club holding out for a fee in the range of £30m ($44m). New manager Antonio Conte has already set down his targets and despite him being busy with the Italy national team at the European Championships, Chelsea are going about their assignments so as to complete a deal for the players as soon as possible.
The Mirror reports that Napoli have directly rejected Chelsea's offer and are unhappy with the Senegalese international for iterating that he would be willing to move to Chelsea if an opportunity presents itself. The defender revealed that he hasn't spoken to Conte yet but expects the Italy manager to get in touch soon enough. The 24-year-old has not given up on signing a new contract with Napoli but insists that he is willing to move elsewhere if things do not go as planned.
"I have not talked to [Antonio Conte] but that may be soon," Koulibaly said. "The game in England could be suitable for me but I like Italy. I do not press for a transfer but I hope to sign a renewal with Napoli or we proceed to other solutions."
The defender has also been linked with a move to London rivals Arsenal with the Gunners in the market for a new centre-back to replace Per Mertesacker. Gabriel has failed to live up to expectations last season and Koulibaly would play alongside Laurent Koscielny, who is currently playing in the Euros with France.
The defender made 46 appearances last season and is capable of playing around the season without succumbing to injuries, something which has harangued the Gunners last season. However, the Gunners have to fend off interest from Chelsea, who have emerged as favourites for his signature.