Chelsea sign Koulibaly as Bayern agree Lewandowski move to Barcelona

Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Photo | AFP

What you need to know:

  • His arrival at Stamford Bridge follows the departures of defenders Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona, both on free transfers.
  • Also, Bayern Munich July 16 confirmed they have agreed a deal with Barcelona for the sale of Polish star Robert Lewandowski to the Spanish club..

Senegal international defender Kalidou Koulibaly has signed a four-year deal with Chelsea from Serie A club Napoli, the Premier League club said on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Senegal captain becomes the second signing after Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling since Todd Boehly's consortium bought the club.

"I'm very happy to be here with this team at Chelsea," said Koulibaly.

"It's a big team in the world and my dream was always to play in the Premier League. Chelsea came first to get me in 2016 but we didn't make it. Now when they came to me I accepted it because they really wanted me to come to the Premier League to play for them.

"When I spoke to my good friends Edou (Mendy) and Jorginho they made my choice easier."

Koulibaly, who led Senegal to the African Cup of Nations title earlier this year, joined Napoli from Genk in 2014 and made 317 appearances for the Italian side. He won the Italian Cup title in 2020.

His arrival at Stamford Bridge follows the departures of defenders Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona, both on free transfers.

"Koulibaly is a natural leader and a strong character," Chelsea said in a statement. 

"He has plenty of experience challenging for domestic and international titles and joins the Blues ahead of the 2022/23 campaign aiming to do just that."

Bayern agree Lewandowski move to Barcelona

Bayern Munich confirmed on Saturday they have agreed a deal with Barcelona for the sale of Polish star Robert Lewandowski to the Spanish club.

"We have a verbal agreement from Barcelona. It's good for both sides that we have clarity," Bayern president Herbert Hainer said on the club's Twitter account. 

"Robert is a very deserving player, he has won everything with us. We are incredibly grateful to him."

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. PHOTO/AFP

Bayern did not give details but Spanish and German media reported the two-time FIFA men's player of the year had agreed a four-year deal worth 50 million euros ($50.4m).

The agreement closes the standoff with the 33-year-old who said at the end of May "it is certain that my story with Bayern has come to an end." 

Bayern had only offered Lewandowski a one-year extension to his contract, which expires in the summer of 2023, according to German media.

The Polish international was also unhappy with the salary offered and had clashed with the Bavarian club's coach Julian Nagelsmann over tactical choices.

Lewandowski joined Bayern in 2014, scoring 344 goals in 375 competitive matches and broke the Bundesliga single-season scoring record.  

He won the Bundesliga in each of his eight seasons with the club as well as the Champions League, the Club World Cup and three German Cups.

Dortmund set to sign Haller as Haaland replacement

Ajax forward Sebastien Haller flew to Germany on Thursday to complete a medical with Borussia Dortmund, where he is set to replace Erling Haaland.

Haller was picked up by Dortmund officials after landing at the city's airport and taken for his medical.

The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international is reportedly set to sign a four-year deal with Dortmund to replace Haaland, who has joined Premier League champions Manchester City.

German daily Bild say Haller's transfer from Ajax is set to cost Bundesliga runners-up Dortmund around 31 million euros ($32.5 million) including bonuses.

According to magazine Kicker, the transfer will be finalised in July so Ajax can add the income earned to their books in the new financial year. 

Haller was in superb form in the Champions League last season, scoring 11 goals in eight games including four in a 5-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in Ajax's opening group match.

He scored in both games against Dortmund as Ajax beat the German club home and away in the group stage.

The Dutch champions bowed out in the last 16, but Haller went on to score 21 goals in 31 games in the Eredivisie.

Haller is set to follow on from strikers Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Haaland, who all matured into top stars during stints playing for Dortmund.

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