At his first news conference, Kalidou Koulibaly revealed that he thought his choice to join the Stamford Bridge team was predetermined. He said that Antonio Conte, the previous manager of Chelsea, sought to lure him to the Bridge in 2016.
The 31-year-old was brought in as a potential successor for Antonio Rudiger, who signed a free-agent contract with Real Madrid. He clarified that he did not intend to take the place of the German but rather to be himself.
It’s true that a long time the Premier League wanted me to come. I believe in God so I believe that the moment was now. Before, no one was ready and Napoli didn’t want me to go. I am not a player to fight to leave. I have a lot of respect for owners and fans. I decided with my family and friends to come to Chelsea. Why Chelsea? I think they were the only club that really wanted me. In 2016, Conte really wanted me, I was always linked to Chelsea and this time, the timing was good. I came here and I am really happy. I hope I will be here for a long time. It’s true that I am 31 but I can give some years here. I can give everything to this club.
I am happy for him to be in Real Madrid but for me it is not a pressure. I don’t think I am here to replace. I want to be a Koulibaly, not a Rudiger. I have my own style.
He claimed that after speaking with Todd Boehly, the club’s new owner, he made the choice to join Chelsea.