Kalidou Koulibaly signs four-year deal with 'big team' Chelsea

Senegal defender becomes London club's second summer signing after Raheem Sterling

Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly has signed for Chelsea. AFP
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Chelsea have completed the signing of Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli on a four-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.

Reports suggested that Chelsea paid a fee of around £32 million ($37.93m) for the 31-year-old, who became the London side's second summer signing after Raheem Sterling.

"I'm very happy to be here with this team at Chelsea," Koulibaly said in a statement. "It's a big team in the world and my dream was always to play in the Premier League.

"Chelsea came first to get me in 2016 but we didn't make it. Now when they came to me I accepted it because they really wanted me to come to the Premier League to play for them.

"When I spoke to my good friends Edou and Jorginho they made my choice easier so I’m really happy to be with you today."

Todd Boehly, chairman and co-controlling owner, said in a statement: "Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the world’s elite defenders and we are delighted to be welcoming him to Chelsea. A great leader and an exemplary team player, Kalidou brings a wealth of experience and attributes that will benefit our squad and the club as a whole."

It marked the second significant signing for Chelsea ahead of the new season. Sterling was the first major signing for the club's new owners led by Todd Boehly. His transfer fee is understood to be in the region of £50 million ($60m).

Speaking on Koulibaly the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas after the Senegal international's signing was confirmed, manager Thomas Tuchel added: "I’m very happy with him signing and joining our team.

"He’s now the second signing of the summer and again we have a strong player, a strong personality with big experience. From our point of view, he’s a perfect addition to the group."

Updated: July 16, 2022, 6:43 AM