Everton make blockbuster £46m bid as they aim to beat Chelsea in transfer battle

Everton have made an eye-watering €55m (£46m) offer for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports from Alfredo Pedulla.

The giant Senegal international centre-back’s future has been the subject of much debate in recent weeks, with new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte understood to be keen to lure the 25-year-old to the west end of London.

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However, reports from Pedulla, a SportItalia reporter, claim that Everton are going all out to beat their Premier League rivals to the imposing enforcer, with a staggering £46m offer having been lodged.

It’s understood that Chelsea are not willing to go above €45m (£37.6m), leaving them some way adrift of the Merseyside club.

Although Napoli are desperate to keep their 6ft. 5” defensive stalwart, they are aware that the cash on offer is serious and that they will have to hand their man a huge salary increase to compete with the wages he would expect at Goodison Park.

Should the deal go ahead, Koulibaly will become the most expensive player in Everton’s history – comfortably surpassing £28m striker, Romelu Lukaku – and the massive outlay could be a reaction to John Stones’ seemingly imminent exit, with the £50m-rated Englishman having reportedly told the club he wants to join Manchester City.