At this point, Thomas Tuchel has very little choice except to wait. Chelsea won’t be able to plan for the summer transfer season until Roman Abramovich sells the club and the Russian is no longer subject to UK government penalties. And the Blues’ head coach has confessed that they will be playing catch-up as a result.
Last week, the German coach revealed, “We would have had targets and we would have for sure contacted some players and checked out about their situations.” “Of course, our options are limited today.” We can still discuss within the building, but we won’t be able to act. The circumstances aren’t great.
“With a steady situation, it would be difficult enough. We don’t have that, so we attempt to demonstrate our dedication and passion, and it’s perhaps crucial for me to send this message: I’m dedicated, I’m excited about it, and I’m enthusiastic about it. And as soon as we are able to act, we will do so in order to turn things around and transform a deficit into a possible benefit.” Right now, I don’t have a solution, but we’ll attempt to remain optimistic. I also don’t believe a new owner would come in and say, “Here, go crazy, here’s £250 million, spend it.” From our side, we still have trust in the individuals who look after it, and we strive to be ready behind the scenes so that if we receive the green light to act, we are prepared and can share our thoughts with the team.”
Once the green light is given, there will almost certainly be a lot of work to be done. With Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger likely to leave at the end of the season, Chelsea will need to upgrade their defense. Cesar Azpilicueta, after receiving a one-year contract extension, might leave after ten years on the job.
Uncertainty also surrounds the futures of two crucial midfielders – N’Golo Kante and Jorginho – while numerous players of Tuchel’s attack face difficult decisions. However, we’ll get to those in the coming days. Today’s focus is on Chelsea’s goalkeepers, a position of strength at the moment.
The Blues have a solid No. 1 in Edouard Mendy. The Senegal international hasn’t quite reached the same level of excellence he showed in the second part of last season under Tuchel, but he has shown this season that there are few better shot-stoppers in Europe.
There is some worry about Mendy’s short-passing game – as seen by his error against Real Madrid in the Champions League – but Chelsea has no need to invest on a top-level goalkeeper, especially because they will not have an infinite budget. The 30-year-old, who was seen by Petr Cech when playing for Rennes, is more than capable.
What happens behind Mendy, on the other hand, is significantly more interesting. Kepa Arrizabalaga is the team’s second-choice goalkeeper, and he has spent the last 18 months repairing a reputation that was damaged during Frank Lampard’s stay. The Spaniard has made 13 starts in all competitions this season, keeping six clean sheets. In August, he came off the bench in the penalty shootout to assist the Blues win the UEFA Super Cup.
That is just not enough for the world’s most expensive goalkeeper — a man who earns £190,000 each week. It’s why Tuchel has already declared that once the current season ends and the takeover is finished, an open dialogue with the 27-year-old is essential.
“We must inquire of him, and we must be forthright with him. And, most importantly, he must be forthright with us “Last month, Chelsea’s head coach stated. “He is still our player, and we have no idea what the situation with the ownership is like or what is feasible. First and foremost, he is our player, and he is a terrific man who can deal with a position like this [being second choice], which is not easy for him.
“There’s never a reason to go against Kepa because he deserves it – and we believe in him. But when you go for someone [in goal], it’s such an apparent choice that you can’t play anyone else because goalie is the only position available. I believe it will have an impact on how he feels about it and how he views it.
“First and foremost, we must be honest with Kepa, and he must continue to be completely involved as he is. Then he must be truthful with us. Nothing needs to change for me because I adore him, and we need good goalkeepers since it is such an important position. But we’ll have to think about it during the summer.”
Juventus are reportedly keeping tabs on Kepa in the hopes of a loan move, while Maurizio Sarri remains open to the idea of reuniting with the goalkeeper at Lazio, though a move to the Italian capital would require the goalkeeper to take a significant pay cut and the Blues to accept a significant loss on the Spanish international, who they signed for £71.6 million from Athletic Club in 2018.
Barcelona has expressed interest in football.london, but nothing is anticipated to happen unless a substantial bid for their first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is received. The German is one of Barcelona’s highest-paid players, and the La Liga giants will have to cut their salary bill once more this summer.
If Kepa were to leave Stamford Bridge, he’d have to be replaced. And bringing in a deputy goalkeeper of the caliber necessary for Chelsea is never an easy feat. Of course, Marcus Bettinelli, who signed a two-year contract with the club this summer, would remain at the club, but the 29-year-old, who has only made one appearance this season, is unlikely to be promoted.
Sam Johnstone, West Bromwich Albion’s No. 1 for the bulk of the season and an England international, had been connected with a move to Chelsea earlier in the season, but football.
londonunderstands Spurs have pushed their way to the front of the queue and are now the favourites to sign the 29-year-old on a free transfer.
Nathan Baxter is a possible in-club option. The 23-year-old is nearing the end of a season-long loan at Hull City, where he has seven clean sheets in 15 Championship games. Baxter is on his eighth loan away from Chelsea, and some at the club feel he has set himself up nicely to take over as No. 2 next season if Kepa leaves.
And the academy graduate aspires to play for the first team of the Blues. “”I feel I’m talented enough to play for Chelsea, and that remains my ambition,” Baxter told The League of 72. “If I had gone on loan to Accrington or Yeovil and failed to impress, there was no way I could have advanced each year, stepped up a level, and even dreamed of playing for Chelsea.
“Although that is my ultimate objective, I will never be scared to state that’s what I want to achieve and that I believe I will, that I can.”