Chelsea transfer U-turn as Pochettino takes big flop off market but identifies new replacement for fallen teammate
Chelsea have changed their plans for the goalkeeping department this summer, according to a report that has revealed who Mauricio Pochettino wants to add to the position.
Neither Kepa Arrizabalaga nor Edouard Mendy were convincing in goal for Chelsea this season. Mendy only kept one clean sheet in the Premier League, while Kepa managed nine. In turn, there was a belief that the Blues could move both of them on this summer.
However, Chelsea recently shelved their interest in Inter’s Andre Onana and it has since emerged that they are no longer in the market for a new number one at all.
Mendy is in talks over a huge contract with Al Ahli in Saudi Arabia, but according to the Evening Standard, Pochettino is ready to keep his faith in Kepa as Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper.
The Spain international became the most expensive player in his position ever when joining Chelsea in 2018. He has struggled to justify the amount of money that the club spent on him, though.
Even so, two years remain on his contract at Chelsea, whose incoming head coach is willing to give him a chance to continue as their number one.
That said, with Mendy on his way out, it will still be important for Chelsea to sign a new goalkeeper this summer. The plan now is to find a backup option to Kepa who can push him for the starting role in the long term.
Chelsea consider Mamardashvili as new Kepa competitor
In that regard, the report claims Chelsea have joined the race to sign Giorgi Mamardashvili from Valencia.
The Georgia international has already been linked with the likes of Tottenham, Aston Villa and Man Utd in recent months. Despite having a contract until 2027, Valencia might have to cash in on him sooner rather than later.
Mamardashvili kept seven clean sheets in La Liga this season, which is fairly respectable within a team that finished just two points above the relegation zone.
Still only 22, he retains margin for development. If Chelsea only plan to use him as a deputy option, it remains to be seen if that choice would be best for his progression. After all, Mamardashvili was ever-present for Valencia this season, starting all 42 of their matches.
But going from Valencia in their current state to Chelsea would be a step up, even though the Blues finished in the bottom half of their own league as well. Indeed, there is no European football on offer at Stamford Bridge next season.
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