Chelsea could be willing to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga in the summer if suitable offers arrive for the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
According to The Sun, Chelsea are already planning to let some players leave in the summer window with Kepa Arrizabalaga one of the prime candidates to depart. The record-breaking goalkeeper signing has failed to live up to expectations or his price tag, with Eduoard Mendy the No.1 choice for the Blues.
Kepa Arrizabalaga’s transfer from Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea in the summer of 2018 raised plenty of eyebrows. The Premier League side replaced Thibaut Courtois with the Spaniard. They paid a world-record fee for a keeper to sign him, eclipsing the amount Liverpool shelled out on Alisson Becker a few weeks earlier.
While the Spanish international started his time at Stamford Bridge brightly, the Carabao Cup incident with then-manager Maurizio Sarri changed his momentum. Since then, the keeper has been in dismal form, and it took two years for Chelsea to find a suitable replacement.
Edouard Mendy’s arrival from Rennes ended Kepa’s ill-fated reign as the club’s number 1 choice in goal, with the Senegalese international firmly establishing himself with assured performances. He also helped the club in a big way to win the Champions League in his first season, which pointed towards the Spaniard’s departure in the summer.
Incidentally, Sarri’s Lazio have shown interest to sign him in the past, although they are unlikely to meet Chelsea’s likely demands for the Spaniard. Kepa has been playing regularly in the Carabao Cup, while he also got game-time in the Premier League over the last month as Mendy was off with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations, which they won, beating Egypt on penalties in the final.
Kepa also started Chelsea’s semi-final clash in the Club World Cup and performed admirably, although Thomas Tuchel might select Mendy for the finale against Palmeiras. The Spaniard might only play one more game this month given Mendy’s standing within the team. Any chance of regular football after that will depend on the Senegalese stopper’s availability.
As things stand, Chelsea might be ready to cut their losses and let the Spaniard depart for pastures new. Juventus were interested in signing him in the past, as the Bianconeri were looking at Kepa as a potential replacement for Wojciech Szczesny for the long-term future.
In any case, Kepa will still be harbouring hopes of getting into Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year. Chelsea might not get anywhere close to the £72 million they paid for him and will have to be prepared to take substantial losses on the 27-year-old Spaniard.