The Blues seem determined to get their new centre-back from Serie A this summer, but are finding it a more expensive situation than they had previously believed.
Another candidate was Inter defender Skriniar, but he is reportedly close to Paris Saint-Germain, who agreed personal terms and should reach the €70m asking price with add-ons.
Sky Sport Italia therefore report this evening that Chelsea have turned to another alternative, Napoli star Koulibaly.
His contract will run out in June 2023 and so far he has not been able to agree a renewal, largely because the Partenopei want everyone at the club to take a massive pay cut.
Koulibaly has said clearly he wants to remain, but like Mertens, the club may well have other ideas and would accept a €40m fee.
If he was to leave, it would be to go abroad rather than their rivals Juventus, which gives Chelsea the upper hand.
Fans and local media are determined to get Napoli to push a little harder and pay the €6m wage demands.
Been told there are conversations also on Koulibaly alongside de Ligt, Aké, Koundé. Focus on Raphinha, and then centre backs.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 28, 2022