Koulibaly, who joined Chelsea from Napoli last summer, could be departing Stamford Bridge after just one season. The 32-year-old center-back faced challenges in his debut campaign in English football, leading to speculation about his future. And a potential move to the Saudi Arabian division.
Romano took to Twitter to announce that Koulibaly is close to finalizing a deal with Al Hilal. Personal terms have reportedly been agreed upon for a three-year contract, with the transfer now imminent.
“Understand Al Hilal are now closing in on Kalidou Koulibaly deal, here we go! Verbal agreement reached with Chelsea. Personal terms also agreed on a three-year contract — he’ll join Ruben Neves. Contracts now being checked… and then signed,” stated Romano.
Disappointing Tenure for Koulibaly at Chelsea
If Koulibaly has indeed played his last game for Chelsea, his tenure at the club will be considered disappointing. The Senegal international arrived in the Premier League with high expectations due to his reputation as a “physical” defender, built during his sensational years at Napoli. However, his form in Chelsea colors last season proved inconsistent.
Journalist Rob Pratley shared on Twitter last month that new Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino does not have Koulibaly in his plans for the upcoming season. Pochettino aims to invest in younger and more dynamic center-back options within the club. Koulibaly, who moved from Napoli to Chelsea last season did not manage to make the impact he’d have hoped for. Pochettino would have seen the performances of Chelsea last season with Koulibaly as the Central defender. And he would have decided to make changes at the back.
Considering this information, Koulibaly’s potential departure from West London aligns with Pochettino’s vision for the team. It wouldn’t be surprising for the fans as they know what kind of a manager Pochettino is and the fact that he likes playing fast moving football. Due to this reason, Pochettino might be looking to add young and pacy defenders to the team and Koulibaly certainly doesn’t fit into that category.