Chelsea seem hellbent on securing the services of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli this summer. But the are no guarantees in football and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte must be wondering how stratospheric their offer needs to be in order to get a deal done.
So reports this week have suggested that The Blues are making contingency plans should the deal not come to fruition.
And one new name that has cropped up is that of Nikola Maksimovic.
The Daily Mail reported:
Chelsea have added Nikola Maksimovic to their list of possible defensive recruits
The 24-year-old Serbia international, who has played 12 times for his country since his debut in 2012, has a similar build to Koulibaly standing at a towering 6ft 4in.
And he’s got decent experience, having played for Red Star Belgrade before moving to Torino in 2013, first on loan and then in a permanent deal which runs to 2018.
Viewed as something of a brick wall, Maksimovic’s height and physical presence should mean that he adapts quickly to the pace and rigours of The Premier League, should he make the move.
And, even though YouTube can make the make even the most average players look different class, Nikola Maksimovic does have an impressive showreel which demonstrates pace, power and really good reading of the game.
What this all means is that Chelsea will surely start the new season with an additional centre back of decent calibre. But the precise name of that player remains something of a mystery with a month still to go in the transfer window.