London, May 15: Premier League giants Arsenal have joined Chelsea and Liverpool in the race for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports in Italy and England.
But the Gunners' failure to qualify for the Champions League could prove costly as the Daily Express claims the Italians value the Senegal international at £53milllion.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wanted the 26-year-old at Stamford Bridge two years ago but failed to land him as the Chelsea board did not support him enough.
The Italian mastermind was left frustrated as the Serie A side priced the defender out of a move to the Premier League as the Chelsea board did not agree to pay that price but a move to West London could be back on after the World Cup.
However, Antonio Conte's future looks very much uncertain at Stamford Bridge and that might be a problem for the Blues in their pursuit for Koulibaly.
Meanwhile, whoever replaces Arsene Wenger, will need defensive reinforcements as Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers have all failed to convince.
Per Mertesacker is retiring and Arsenal's star defender Laurent Koscielny out for months with a serious Achilles injury.
Even Koscielny's form prior to his injury was pretty poor and it is as clear as daylight that Arsenal desperately need defensive reinforcements.
Napoli will pocket around £50m if they allow Jorginho to leave and Manchester City are favourites for his signature, which allows them to slap a huge valuation on their star defender.
Koulibaly is contracted at the Sao Paolo until 2021 and they know they are in a battle to keep him next season with Serie A champions Juventus closely monitoring his situation.
The Senegalese star’s agent Bruno Sati reckons his client is good enough to play at the highest level and his future could depend on boss Maurizio Sarri remaining in charge next season.
Sarri has been strongly linked with replacing Conte at Chelsea in the summer and is due to have talks with president Aurelio De Laurentiis at the end of the campaign.
If Sarri joins Chelsea, it will be a major blow to other suitors of Koulibaly as it would be likely that the star defender will follow his current manager.