The Chelsea head coach will now need to look elsewhere for reinforcements. His only senior centre-backs are Koulibaly, Trevoh Chalobah and 37-year-old Thiago Silva. Cesar Azpilicueta, who has been widely linked with a move to Barca, can also play in the position.
Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling are Chelsea’s only arrivals so far this summer for a combined fee of around £80m. New chairman Todd Boehly has promised big-name additions after purchasing the club from sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
The Blues have been linked with a move for Paris Saint Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe and could incredibly hijack Manchester United’s move for Frenkie de Jong. The Red Devils have pursued De Jong all summer but the Dutchman does not appear to favour a transfer to Old Trafford.