Who could replace Kepa at Chelsea?

Who could replace Kepa at Chelsea?
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth. Picture date: Saturday May 6, 2023. – Photo by Icon sport

Spanish stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga has joined Real Madrid from Chelsea on loan until the end of the season, though the Blues’ decision to sanction the move has left them with a bit of a goalkeeping conundrum as the end of the transfer window approaches.

Arrizabalaga is the second first-team Chelsea goalkeeper to leave the club this summer following the departure of Edouard Mendy to Saudi Arabian outfit Al Hilal, and though the arrival of £25m Robert Sanchez has helped to compensate, there is still room for further additions between the sticks for the Blues.

Below, we’ve taken a look at some of the goalkeeping candidates filling Chelsea transfer gossip columns of late.

Who could replace Kepa Arrizabalaga at Stamford Bridge?

According to Portuguese outlet A Bola, Chelsea have already begun sniffing around FC Porto keeper Diogo Costa with a view to making the 23-year-old the team’s new number one.

A Bola have reported that Chelsea and Porto even had tentative discussions about a move for the highly-rated goalie, though the Blues were initially put off by Costa’s hefty €75m (£65m) release clause.

Costa who has been on Porto’s books since 2011 has been on the radar of a number of Europe’s top clubs and was rumoured to have been a primary target for Manchester United before the Red Devils pursued a deal for Andre Onana instead.

While Costa would have the potential to be a quality addition for Chelsea, the club’s summer spend will breach £300m once they complete the acquisition of Romeo Lavia from Southampton, so finding the cash to sign the Porto man could prove difficult.

Cut price option from France?

Other stories have surfaced today linking Chelsea with a surprise move for former Leicester star Kasper Schmeichel, who could be a much cheaper option to add depth to the club’s goalkeeping roster.

The vastly-experienced Dane has been plying his trade with Nice in Ligue 1, though a move back to England’s Premier League could appeal to the 36-year-old, who performed with distinction for Leicester between 2011 and 2022.

Brentford and Nottingham Forest have already made attempts without success to bring Schmeichel back to English football this summer, though the prospect of joining Chelsea’s more-ambitious project could appeal to the 93-times capped international.

Who could replace Kepa at Chelsea?
Giorgi Mamardashvili of Valencia during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and Valencia CF played at Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on August 11 in Sevilla, Spain. (Photo by Antonio Pozo / Pressinphoto / Icon Sport) – Photo by Icon sport

Valencia keeper on Chelsea’s shortlist?

Real Madrid failed with a bid to bring Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili to the Spanish capital just before they agreed a loan deal for Chelsea’s Kepa and the Blues could take advantage of the goalkeeping merry-go-round with a move of their own for the Georgian, according to reports.

The 22-year-old has been catching the eye for Los Che in La Liga since his arrival on Spanish shores in 2021 and with close to another decade before he reaches his peak playing years, Mamardashvili could represent an excellent long-term solution.

Real Madrid put together a package that included an initial loan worth €5m for the promising keeper which included a buy option for a further €25m, though Valencia rebuffed the offer, considering it too light to do business.

Chelsea have the clout to trump that deal should the Blues choose to chase a deal for the former Dinamo Tbilisi net minder.