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Exclusive: New "Lilian Thuram" will be Antonio Conte's first summer signing at Chelsea


Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is very close to leaving the club to join Chelsea, has learned.

The relationship between the Senegalese and the club has broken down after he was fined £40,000 for speaking with French newspaper L'Equipe without club permission.

He will soon meet Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to complete a move to Stamford Bridge.

Read more: Kalidou Koulibaly: This is why Napoli fined the defender £40,000 over recent interview concerning move to Chelsea

The 24-year-old still has three years remaining on his contract but wants to negotiate a new one with the Partenopei.

He made it clear that if Napoli don't approach him with a new contract he will leave the Serie A to make a new experience abroad.

"Big clubs want to sign me and there is no sign of a renewal with Napoli," the defender told L'Equipe.

"The negotiations for a contract extension have stalled and they never wanted to discuss with us.

"I want to make the right decision from a financial and sporting standpoint.

"I have not talked to him [Antonio Conte] but that may be soon.

"If nothing happens at Napoli, I will start to have contact with other clubs.

"Many great clubs want me and I have no news from Napoli. I get the impression I may leave. I want to keep growing perhaps by going abroad."

Koulibaly enjoyed an impressive campaign at Napoli this season and was praised by former France international Lilian Thuram two seasons ago.

"I know he considers me his idol, I'm flattered," Thuram said.

"I believe he can become even stronger than I was."

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Kalidou Koulibaly