(via FCBN)

Although Chelsea and Manchester City are considered the frontrunners to strike a deal for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, they are reportedly in danger of missing out on this move as there is a new team interested in the center-back.

West Ham United are reportedly emerging as surprise contenders to beat big-name rivals to the transfer of Koulibaly, one of the most in-form defenders in Europe in the last couple of seasons.

The Senegal international has long been considered as one of the finest center-backs in the world given his world-class performances in Serie A and the Champions League in recent times.

That has prompted several clubs to show their interest in the defender; he was recently mentioned as a big-money target for the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham by Corriere del Mezzogiorno, as cited by the Daily Star, but they’re not the only ones chasing this guy, as English teams look very interested in him.

The 28-year-old is now being mentioned as a £70 million target for West Ham, according to the Daily Express. This would be the most shocking move of all if the East London club is able to make it.

The Express’ report also mentions possible interest from Chelsea, as well as from Manchester City, who certainly look in need of a new signing at center-back for the second half of this season.

Koulibaly would be a great addition for either City or Chelsea, as they look to improve their bid in the Champions League and Premier League respectively while West Ham are wandering team.

One would imagine the player would prioritize a club with more chances to give him silverware in the future than one going through a crisis. However, this is football and we’ve seen West Ham landing some big names in recent times, including the likes of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano when nobody expected it.