Premier League • England

Arsenal laughing, as Bayern accelerate shock raid for Chelsea starter thanks to Arteta

Chelsea stars Kepa Arrizabalaga and Reece James

Multiple sources have confirmed Bayern Munich are gunning for a Chelsea starter after seeing Arsenal sweep in for their original target.

Arsenal’s fourth major signing of the summer is set to be Brentford and Spain goalkeeper, David Raya. A package worth around £30m has been agreed and the 27-year-old will undergo a medical later this week ahead of penning a five-year contract.

Raya was originally installed as one of Bayern Munich’s top targets between the sticks. Indeed, concerns regarding the recovery of Manuel Neuer – combined with exits – have left Thomas Tuchel in a sticky situation.

Yann Sommer recently completed his €6m switch to Inter Milan, while SPORT1 claim Tuchel is unconvinced by Sven Ulreich.

As such, much was expected of 37-year-old Neuer who it now transpires may remain on the sidelines for longer than first thought.

Neuer suffered a broken leg during a skiing holiday way back in December and per SPORT1, he could miss ‘months’ of the new campaign while continuing his rehab.

As such, Tuchel is determined to land a new goalkeeper in the coming days. After seeing a loan with an option to buy proposal for Raya blown out of the water by Arsenal, Tuchel has now fixed his gaze on Chelsea and Kepa Arrizalabaga.

That development is something of a surprise given it was actually Edouard Mendy who Tuchel favoured for much of his tenure at Stamford Bridge.

In any case, Tuchel hopes to forge a reunion with Kepa and the same loan-to-buy proposal earmarked for Raya will be put forward for Kepa.

Fabrizio Romano echoed much of SPORT1’s reporting when confirming on Twitter that Kepa is on Bayern’s shortlist.

The transfer guru added Chelsea and Bayern will “speak soon” to discuss the formula of a proposed deal.

The Blues have signed a potential replacement in the form of Robert Sanchez. The Spaniard completed a £25m switch from Brighton last week.

However, it was expected Kepa would begin the season as the starter and losing him this close to the new campaign beginning would be a surprise.

What’s more, the loan with an option to buy route would do little for Chelsea’s finances right here and now. The Blues still aim to make further additions in central midfield and up front. Christopher Nkunku’s recent knee surgery could also accelerate a move for Crystal Palace ace, Michael Olise.

In any case, Bayern certainly intend to ask the question of Chelsea regarding Kepa. If he leaves, a back-up to Sanchez might then be required.

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