Kepa ready to fight to be Lampard’s first choice
Kepa Arrizabalaga is prepared to stay to fight for his Chelsea place, even if the club sign a new goalkeeper.
Chelsea are chasing Rennes’ Edouard Mendy, for whom they have already had one bid rejected, with head coach Frank Lampard keen to strengthen that area of his squad.
Lampard dropped Kepa for Chelsea’s two most important games last season, the victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers that secured Champions League qualification and the FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal.
But despite Lampard’s doubts and Chelsea’s pursuit of Mendy, Kepa remains determined to try to make a success of his Stamford Bridge career, which is about to enter its third season.
He still believes he can win over Lampard and hopes to be given a fair chance to fight for the No1 position if a new goalkeeper is signed.
Petr Cech, the technical and performance adviser, has already insisted that Chelsea have not given up on Kepa, and the club have not received any significant interest in the 25-year-old.
The situation could change if a club make an attractive offer for Kepa, but that is rated as unlikely given the financial impact of the coronavirus and the fact he remains the most expensive goalkeeper in the world following his £71.6million move from Athletic Bilbao.
While Kepa will remain the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, he is likely to lose his label as Chelsea’s record signing.
Kai Havertz has agreed to join them in a deal worth £72 million plus add-ons, with the attacking midfielder expected to link up with his new team-mates after international duty with Germany.
World record: Kepa Arrizabalaga was signed by Chelsea for £71.6 million in August 2018