Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte has showered encomium on Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, describing him as one of the best defenders in the world and revealed how he made an attempt to try and recruit him during his time at Chelsea.
The Italian tactician spent two years with the Blues and won the Premier League and FA Cup titles before leaving the side.
In an effort to possibly achieve more success with the Stamford Bridge outfit, Conte revealed he made an effort to sign the Senegal international but with no success.
The 51-year-old explained the centre-back has developed into a better player since then and looks forward to seeing him when his side takes on Napoli in a Serie A game on Sunday night.
"For me, Koulibaly is among the two strongest defenders in the world. He is really very, very strong,” Conte said.
“I wanted to take him at Chelsea. And he has grown even more. There is no need to introduce Koulibaly to Romelu [Lukaku]. He knows him but Romelu has also grown a lot."
Inter Milan are close to clinching their first league title since 2010 under the guidance of the Italian tactician.
The San Siro outfit are 10 points clear on the Serie A table and will hope to put another three points in their kitty when they take on Napoli, which will be expected to feature Koulibaly.
The Senegal centre-back has been with the Parthenopeans since the summer of 2014 and despite being linked to a number of European clubs recently, the Stadio San Paolo outfit has managed to hold on to their star man.
Koulibaly remains one of the most consistent performers for Napoli, having made more than 215 appearances across all competitions for the club.
In the current campaign, the defender has played 33 games for the Stadio San Paolo outfit to help the side to their current fifth spot on the league table.
Napoli returned to winning ways against Sampdoria last time out after losing against Juventus and Koulibaly will be expected to help his side to continue their fine performances.
The centre-back is also a key member of the Senegal national team and recently helped the West African country qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled for Cameroon.