Rio Ferdinand identifies the ‘problem’ with Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Kalidou Koulibaly’s age could be a ‘problem from a business perspective’ if Chelsea consider a move for the Napoli defender this summer.

The Blues have already completed deals for Leipzig’s Timo Werner and Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech and Frank Lampard is far from finished in the wake of the club’s two window transfer ban.

Bringing in a top-class left-back remains a priority and Kai Havertz continues to be heavily linked, despite Bayer Leverkusen refusing to budge over their £90million asking price for the attacking midfielder.

There is also uncertainty surrounding the future of Kepa Arrizabalaga, with Frank Lampard favouring 38-year-old Willy Caballero between the sticks in recent weeks after a dismal campaign for Chelsea’s number one.

Discussing Chelsea’s summer transfer targets ahead of their clash with Bayern Munich on Saturday evening, Owen Hargreaves suggested that signing a new goalkeeper should be Lampard’s ‘first’ priority.

But the former England midfielder feels the club also need to strengthen at the heart of their defence and encouraged the club to explore a move for Koulibaly.

Asked which player he would sign, the BT Sport pundit replied: ‘I think you need a leader and Koulibaly’s that type.

‘He’s 28/29 and I think you need somebody in there to come in and command it.

‘He’s 28/29 and I think you need somebody in there to come in and command it.

‘You’d love all the young players there don’t you, I think he’s got so many young players, but, I think the spine of the team he’s got to address, ‘keeper is probably the first one isn’t it.’

Responding to Hargreaves’ comments, Ferdinand said: ‘The problem with Koulibaly is that he’s 29 years old.

‘It’s dead money. You spend £70-80m to get him and that’s dead money, from a business perspective.

‘Is that the right way that Chelsea want to go? Who knows.

‘But I agree with Owen, the goalkeeper is an issue as well that needs to be sorted out.’

There had been reports that Napoli would consider lowering their asking price for Koulibaly amid the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool all weighing up moves for the Senegal international.

‘Kalidou is a wonderful person and of course it’d be sad to lose him,’ he told Sky Italia last month.

‘Everything has a time and a place, even when it comes to going our separate ways.

‘Having said that, we don’t have €90m (£81m) on the table and in any case, it takes two to separate.’

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