Chelsea are reportedly in constant contact with the representatives of Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, as Frank Lampard eyes goalkeeping reinforcements.
According to a report from The Athletic, Premier League giants Chelsea are keeping tabs on Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana and have been in constant touch with his representatives over a £26 million summer swoop.
Onana has been with Ajax since 2015, having left Barcelona in search of first-team action. After a season playing second fiddle to Jasper Cillessen, the Cameroonian became the first-choice for the Dutch giants since 2016 and hasn’t looked back since.
Till date, the 24-year-old has featured 178 times for Ajax, keeping 74 clean sheets and winning one Eredivisie title. Onana had a fine 2019/20 campaign, during which he kept 15 clean sheets in 39 matches across all competitions, conceding just 37 times. His exploits with the Dutch heavyweights have put him on the radars of Chelsea.
Chelsea’s goalkeeping department has become a major concern for manager Frank Lampard. While the Blues invested £71.6 million to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao only in 2018, it hasn’t paid off. The world’s most expensive goalkeeper has struggled to live up to the billing, having been found wanting on numerous occasions.
Indeed, the Spaniard’s inconsistent ways saw him getting the axe from Lampard, who opted to hand Willy Caballero a run in the starting lineup for a stretch of games earlier this season. While Kepa did work his way back into the side, he is still yet to convince and put in another scratchy display against Sheffield United last week.
This has once again led to speculations that Lampard is ready to offload the Spanish international in the summer and bring in an upgrade, with Onana being one of the few names mentioned as a potential target for the Blues. In fact, the aforementioned report from David Ornstein even goes on to claim that Chelsea have been in contact with the player’s camp over the possibility of a summer switch.
While his contract still has two years left on his contract, Onana has hinted at he will be on his way out of Ajax this season. The 24-year-old is expected to cost around £26 million, which would make him an even more enticing prospect for Chelsea, given that they have already spent heavily over Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.
The report further adds that Chelsea have a strong relationship with Ajax, having only recently completed the transfer of Ziyech. However, a transfer would hinge on whether they will be able to offload Kepa, given that his asking price and wages might prove to be a stumbling block.
Apart from Onana, Chelsea have also shown an interest in Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, who has excelled on loan at Sheffield United. It remains to be seen if their pursuit of a new goalkeeper comes to fruition in the upcoming transfer window.