Chelsea reportedly fear they will have to pay £50m to lure Kalidou Koulibaly away from Napoli this summer in a deal which would represent the most expensive British transfer for a defender.
Everton also harbour a keen interest in signing the 25-year-old but both they and Chelsea are alarmed by the Italian club’s asking fee. Following the impact of Brexit on the exchange rate, the €60m valuation would equate to £51.6m.
According to the Evening Standard, Koulibaly is at the centre of a contract dispute after asking for parity with star midfielder Marek Hamisk, who is on £72,000-a-week more than him..
Napoli are optimistic they will be able to persuade him to stay, however, after qualifying for the Champions League last season, a feat Chelsea were unable to achieve themselves after finishing 10th in the Premier League 12 months after winning the title.
The report adds that Chelsea have already offered a fee in the region of £34m while Everton, bankrolled by new stakeholder Farhad Moshiri, may be prepared to stump up as much as £42m to kick-start their summer transfer dealings under Ronald Koeman.
Meanwhile, Dimitri Payet will only be available if the Blues are prepared to offer over £50m, West Ham’s co-chairman David Gold has revealed.
Payet scored 12 goals for West Ham last season, making a name for himself before excelling for the French national side at Euro 2016 as Didier Deschamps’ side reached the final before being defeated by Portugal on Sunday night.
Gold said: “The super clubs would come after a player of his ability. Of course we wouldn’t even listen to any offer under £50m, and even then, as I said, we need to keep our best players.
“To be absolutely honest with you, we just don’t welcome any offers at all for Dimitri. He is instrumental, he’s important to us, the team is built around him. I would say to you he’s not for sale.”