Chelsea will listen to £50m offers for under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga this summer, admitting a loss on their £72m investment is inevitable.
The 25-year-old endured a nightmare campaign that saw him make a number of costly mistakes. He ended the season with the fewest saves of any goalkeeper in the Premier League and was dropped for Chelsea’s final day clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Arrizabalaga left on the bench for Wolves’ win/Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images
In his place, Willy Caballero, 39, is expected to keep his place for the upcoming FA Cup final against Arsenal, with Arrizabalaga now considered expendable at Stamford Bridge.
A major problem with offloading Spanish is its price tag. He became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper just two years ago and takes home huge wages, so finding someone to take him off his hands won’t be easy. The Daily Mail say Chelsea are prepared to take a loss, but not more than £22m.
Any permanent bid in excess of £50m will be considered, but Chelsea would also be willing to let Arrizabalaga go on loan if the bidding party commits to paying a significant chunk of his wages.
-11 – Kepa Arrizabalaga has conceded 11 more Premier League goals this season than the model would expect an ‘average’ goalkeeper to concede, based on Opta’s Expected Goals on Target data (xGoT). Worst figure of any goalkeeper in the division. Concerned pic.twitter.com/Ds9fcWEiJ5
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 23, 2020
A loan move may be the best option for Suit Valencia. By 90 minutes it had been confirmed that the La Liga side were willing to offer Arrizabalaga an escape route, but securing a deal remains a major hurdle.
If Chelsea can offload Arrizabalaga, the search for a replacement can begin in earnest. Burnley’s Nick Pope and Ajax’s Andre Ona are candidates, as is Manchester United’s Dean Henderson. The Mirror say Chelsea are making a £55million bid for Henderson, who is unfazed by the idea of being stuck behind David De Gea at Old Trafford.
The Blues are also interested in a deal for Atletico Madrid superstar Jan Oblak. Nicolò Schira says Chelsea executive Marina Granovskaya has contacted the goalkeeper’s agent, but Atleti are expected to demand his full £109m release clause.
Dan Henderson is on the shortlist of potential replacements/Peter Powell/Getty Images
A final decision on Arrizabalga’s future is expected after the FA Cup final, but given that he won’t get the chance to win over his critics during the game, all signs point to him at Stamford Bridge. Time is running out.
Even if Chelsea fail to find a buyer, they are expected to sign a new goalkeeper, which will surely leave Arrizabalga glued to the bench for the foreseeable future. . Not ideal.
For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!