Monday, July 23, 2018

Koulibaly focused on Senegal, not future, amid Chelsea links

SoccerNews in Serie A 27 Jun 2018

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Kalidou Koulibaly is not letting talk regarding his future affect his preparations for Senegal’s crucial Group H meeting against Colombia in Samara on Thursday.

The Napoli centre-back held negotiations with Chelsea two years ago and, as former boss Maurizio Sarri continues to be linked with taking over from Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge, rumours around a possible Premier League switch for Koulibaly have begun to resurface.

Senegal need just a point to secure their progress to the last 16, following an opening 2-1 win over Poland and a subsequent 2-2 draw against Japan.

In a media conference on Wednesday, Koulibaly was asked how it felt to be regarded as a £100million player, and whether such transfer speculation was clouding his focus amid a World Cup campaign.

“100million, if you tell my parents this figure I think they’ll have a good laugh!” he joked.

“This price is what the market dictates, I don’t think about it, I just try and do my best on the pitch.

“I don’t think for a minute about my future because we’ve worked for three years to be here and if something may confuse me during the World Cup I will leave it aside because I want to be 100 per cent focused on the World Cup.

“We’ve worked a great deal, we’re very committed and we want to be in the last 16. As for the rest, we’ll see later and all my team-mates should trust me and each other so I don’t give a minute to my future right now.”

Senegal are the only African nation who remain in with a chance of reaching the second round and Koulibaly is relishing the support of an entire continent.

“It is something positive rather then pressure,” he said.

“We know the whole African continent is backing us so it’s highly positive as I see it. We are football players, we have the whole Senegalese people and the African continent behind us.

“We have to end this with flying colours and we’ll do our utmost to get to the round of 16. I think we have everything to do it and it’s very positive to have the whole continent behind us.”

 

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