Kalidou Koulibaly: Chelsea FC sign Napoli FC defender - salary and transfer fee explained

Thomas Tuchel’s side have officially signed the Senagalese international to replace Antonio Rudiger, who left Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid.

Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked with a transfer to Tottenham.Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked with a transfer to Tottenham.
Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked with a transfer to Tottenham.

Todd Boehly’s stewardship of Chelsea Football Club has already endured its fair share of peaks and troughs, with groundbreaking incomings and worrying departures.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling is set to be announced by the club later today (Wednesday, 13 July) in a deal worth an estimated £50 million.

Whilst the club has also bid farewell to fan-favourite defender Antonio Rudiger, who left on a free transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Club record signing Romelu Lukaku also departed the club on loan to Inter Milan after a disappointing first season back at Stamford Bridge.

Other Blues’ stars such as Hakim Ziyech and Cesar Azpilicueta have also been linked with moves away from the London club.

All of this has left Chelsea fans worried about a lack of depth in certain areas of the pitch, especially in terms of the defence - but you need not to worry, as defensive reinforcements are on their way.

Here is everything you need to know as Chelsea announce the signing of Napoli star defender Kalidou Koulibaly; with details such as the transfer fee, as well as his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Kalidou Koulibaly?

Kalidou Koulibaly is a 31-year-old Senagalese central defender that currently plays for Italian Serie A side Napoli.

The defender, who stands at a height of six-foot-and-one-inch, has been at  Gli Azzurri (The Blues) for eight years, joining from Genk in 2014.

He has gone on to play 236 times for the club, all whilst netting 13 goals.

Initially born in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges in France, Koulibaly also qualified for the Senegal national team through his Senagalese parents.

Koulibaly has been involved in several activities to help poor people in Naples and his motherland, once collaborating with local organisations to assist underprivileged children in 2021.

After starting off in the youth ranks with France, the defender decided to make the switch to his African roots in 2015.

He has since played 62 games for his country, representing them in various competitions such as the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Is Kalidou Koulibaly close to joining Chelsea FC?

Kalidou Koulibaly is now a Chelsea Football Club player and was announced on Saturday, 16 July 2022.

How much is the transfer fee?

The total transfer fee package to bring Koulibaly to Stamford Bridge is valued at around €40 million - around £33 million.

How much are Chelsea FC paying Kalidou Koulibaly?

Koulibaly has agreed personal terms on a long-term four year contract with Chelsea Football Club.

The defender will be paid a €10 million net salary, which is approximately £8.4 million - making him the fourth-highest paid player at the club.

What are his strengths, weaknesses and style of play?

As per WhoScored, here are the strengths and weaknesses of Kalidou Koulibaly:


  • Passing - good with the ball at his feet, known for accurate long diagonal passes
  • Blocking - synonymous in Italy for being a superb blocker of shots from the opposition
  • Concentration and Intelligence - rarely loses focus during games, defends smartly and effectively


  • Discipline - a regular offender in fouling opposition players, picking up both yellow and red cards
  • Speed - a little slow due to his strong physical nature

Style of play

Kalidou Koulibaly is a domineering player that will slot easily into Thomas Tuchel’s defensive block of five system.

He likes to dribble and charge out from his defensive line during games, bringing the ball forward and instigating attacks with short and long passes.

The defender is good in the air and smart when going in for challenges and tackles.