Kalidou Koulibaly moves from Napoli to Chelsea as the latest Blues signing under Thomas Tuchel. AFP
Naploi owner Aurelio De Laurentiis said on Tuesday that he would not sign any more African players unless they agree to take no part in the Africa Cup of Nations that usually takes place during the period between January and February every couple of years.
De Laurentiis believes that the absence of Koulibaly and Camerounese midfielder Andre Zambo Anguissa affected the team’s result last season with the club ending up in third place in the Serie A table.
Koulibaly joined Premier League side, Chelsea, this summer, while Anguissa is still under contract with the Italian club.
"You have to have respect for the national team because you cannot speak about the African national teams like this," Koulibaly told a news conference on Wednesday responding to Napoli's owner.
"As captain of Senegal, I think it's not a good way to speak about an African national team. But I respect what it is. If he thinks the team can play without African players, it's up to him. Not everybody has the same idea as him in the club." he concluded.
Koulibaly helped Senegal win the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations and reach this year's World Cup in Qatar.
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