Everton outbid Chelsea with £40m offer after Witsel talks collapse - report

By Tom Blackburn

Everton are set to outbid Chelsea in an attempt to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to a report.

Italian news outlet Gazzetta World claim that Everton have tabled an offer worth £38.5million for the centre-back.

This comes as John Stones has been linked with a big-money move away from Goodison Park this week, with Manchester City ready to smash Everton’s transfer record set to land the England international.

Koulibaly has been at Napoli for two years since joining from Metz for £6.5million, and has now played 60 times in Serie A.

The 25-year-old played 33 times in the Italian top flight in the 2015-16 season as Napoli finished nine points behind Juventus in second.

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The report also says that Napoli’s stance is that they are not going to sell the centre back but the extraordinary offer could be too good to reject.

Ronald Koeman has been active in his search for players since arriving at Goodison Park this summer, but has been unsuccessful in the hunt for Graziano Pelle and most recently Axel Witsel.

As reported by Football Insider, Everton have held extensive talks to sign Witsel in a £30million deal from Zenit St Petersburg but talks have collapsed and he is closing in on a move to Napoli.

Everton are said to be backing Koeman with a £100million transfer kitty and the Everton boss is said to believe it necessary to make changes.

However, the most important deal could be retaining striker Romelu Lukaku who is wanted by European heavyweights Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

In other Everton news, their fans have reacted to a former Goodison Park striker joining a non-league outfit.