Napoli president reveals why he rejected Chelsea's €55m Koulibaly bid

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Antonio Conte looked to sign the Senegalese defender last year, but found his offer turned down as the Serie A side sought to keep their key player

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed why the club rejected a €55 million (£47m) bid from Chelsea for defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Senegal international joined Napoli from Belgian side Genk in 2014 for a fee of around £6.5m, but has seen his asking price increase dramatically after a string of impressive performance under manager Maurizio Sarri.

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Koulibaly's form had attracted the attentions of Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, but Napoli were unwilling to sell the 25-year-old to the Premier League club without first having adequate replacements at the back.

"Chelsea had offered €55m, but I told Conte that I could not give him up without first having a worthy substitute," De Laurentiis told beIN Sports.

"[I will not sell him] unless Sarri tells me: 'I have Tom, Dick and Harry who are reliable: you give up who you want'."

Koulibaly is contracted to Napoli until 2021, but the player's agent indicated earlier this month that a transfer to Chelsea could still be on the cards.

“Chelsea were interested but then they signed David Luiz and you also have John Terry and Gary Cahill at the club so there is a lot of competition there,” Bruno Satin told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.

“So we will see what happens. A lot of the improvements that Koulibaly has made in his game have been down to the coaching of Maurizio Sarri.

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“Whatever happens in the future will depend on the president and whether or not he decides to evaluate any offers that may come in.”

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