Kalidou Koulibaly leaves Chelsea to join Ruben Neves at Al Hilal after one season in England


Kalidou Koulibaly has joined Al Hilal from Chelsea after one season at the club for £20million.

The 32-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to Saudi Arabia in the last few weeks.

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Koulibaly has left Chelsea after one yearCredit: Getty

And Chelsea have now confirmed that they have sold the defender to Al Hilal, having only signed him themselves last summer from Napoli.

They wrote in a statement: “Kalidou Koulibaly has left Chelsea after completing a permanent transfer to Saudi Professional League side Al-Hilal.

“The centre-back arrived from Napoli last summer and made 32 appearances for the Blues during his sole campaign at Stamford Bridge.

“The 32-year-old made his debut away at Everton and marked his first home game with a fantastic volley against Tottenham Hotspur.

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“His other Chelsea goal also came in a London derby, away to Fulham.

“Midway through the campaign, Koulibaly captained Senegal to the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar; the defender scored a crucial winning goal to help his country overcome Ecuador and reach the knockout stage.

“We would like to thank Kalidou for his contributions on and off the pitch during his time at Stamford Bridge and wish him well for the next stage of his career.”

Koulibaly becomes the latest Premier League export to make the move to Saudi Arabia, joining Ruben Neves, who will be his teammate at Al Hilal.

Koulibaly has left Chelsea for Al Hilal

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Koulibaly has left Chelsea for Al HilalCredit: Getty
Neves is his new teammate at Al Hilal

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Neves is his new teammate at Al HilalCredit: Getty

The Saudi club are one of four teams in the country to receive major backing from the nation’s sovereign wealth in the form of PIF.

Al Nassr, Al Ittihad and Al Ahli have also been included as the quartet of clubs making ambitious moves across Europe.

N’Golo Kante has signed for Al Ittihad, along with Karim Benzema this summer.

And Chelsea duo Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy are also expected to make the switch in the coming weeks as well.

Koulibaly arrived at Stamford Bridge last year in what was heralded as a great signing after losing Antonio Rudiger for free to Real Madrid.

But the ex-Napoli star struggled to get to grips with the Premier League and had a tough debut year in England.

A mixture of poor form and injuries limited him to just 23 appearances in the league.

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Jackson scored 13 La Liga goals last seasonCredit: Getty

Transfer business is booming at Chelsea where Nicolas Jackson has just passed a medical ahead of a £35m move.

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Christopher Nkunku has already joined with Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic look set to leave.

Mason Mount’s future remains up in the air, though, after the Blues rejected Manchester United’s £55m bid.

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