Chelsea pon­der move for new keeper even if Kepa stays at club

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Matt Law

Chelsea will con­sider sign­ing a new goal­keeper even if Kepa Ar­riz­a­bal­aga does not leave Stamford Bridge this sum­mer.

Frank Lam­pard’s de­ci­sion to stick with his FA Cup goal­keeper, Willy Ca­ballero, for the semi-fi­nal vic­tory over Manch­ester United un­der­lined that Kepa is yet to fully win over Chelsea’s head coach. Kepa has suf­fered a dif­fi­cult sea­son in which he lost his Premier League place to Ca­ballero for a time and has faced ques­tions over a num­ber of goals Chelsea have con­ceded.

Lam­pard has of­fered Kepa no guar­an­tees over his future past this sea­son, al­though it would be hard for Chelsea to sell him for any­where near what they would want given he joined for a £71.6mil­lion fee – a world record for a goal­keeper.

Long-term loan moves to Va­len­cia and Sevilla have been sug­gested in Spain, along with Chelsea po­ten­tially of­fer­ing Kepa as part of bids for other keep­ers, such as Jan Oblak or Marc-An­dre ter Ste­gen.

But with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona un­likely to want to do busi­ness on Oblak or Ter Ste­gen and Chelsea fac­ing the prospect of hav­ing to sub­sidise Kepa’s wages to send him on loan, they are con­sid­er­ing an­other sce­nario. If Kepa stays, Chelsea will ex­am­ine if a new keeper could be brought in to put more pres­sure on him.

While Lam­pard and di­rec­tor Ma­rina Gra­novskaia will have the fi­nal say on all trans­fers, iden­ti­fy­ing a new keeper is likely to fall on the shoul­ders of tech­ni­cal and per­for­mance di­rec­tor Petr Cech and Christophe Lol­li­chon, who is part of the scout­ing de­part­ment.

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