Chelsea have reportedly prioritised a move for Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan ahead of the summer transfer window.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has failed to live up to his world-record £71.6million price tag during his stay at Stamford Bridge and Frank Lampard has told Chelsea’s board to offload the 25-year-old at the end of the season.
The Spaniard lost his place to Willy Caballero as Chelsea drew 2-2 away to Leicester at the weekend and was ‘shocked’ by Lampard’s decision, but determined to fight for his spot in the team.
However, the Blues have already started planning for life without Kepa, with Burnley’s Nick Pope and Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita understood to be on the club’s shortlist of targets.
According to Eurosport, Lille shot-stopper Maignan is Chelsea’s ‘priority for the summer’ after an impressive start to the season in France with Lille.
It’s claimed Chelsea have been keeping close tabs on Maignan for several months with keen interest.
The 24-year-old Frenchman came through Paris Saint-Germain’s academy and has made over 100 appearances for Lille since joining the club back in 2015.
Lampard insisted it was a difficult decision to drop Kepa at the King Power Stadium but stressed that he had full confidence in Caballero’s abilities.
‘It’s a decision I have not taken lightly,’ the Chelsea head coach said.
‘They train together, they are are close and it’s one I thought I’d make for this game.
‘I trust in Willy, he’s very professional.’
On his performance, Caballero said: ‘I am really happy to help the team to play today.
‘I made a few saves but more important is the spirit of the team, we rescued one point here which is so difficult.
‘It is hard as a goalkeeper when we don’t have the opportunity to play, we have to keep the faith, keep training well and when the opportunity arrives you have to be ready for it.
‘This is a lesson for every goalkeeper in the world, we must be ready at any time.’