Premier League • England

Chelsea gunning for ‘above average’ Man Utd target who’ll replace fallen star even Frank Lampard has given up on

Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel

Chelsea have stepped up their scouting efforts on a Man Utd-linked star who’d oust a player formerly favoured by Frank Lampard, though hasn’t got a look-in second time around.

The Evening Standard recently detailed 15 players Chelsea are considering axing this summer. The Blues must conform to Financial Fair Play regulations and a fire sale is expected before the accounts are submitted on June 30.

The fact Chelsea will be without the revenue Champions League football brings next season will play into who and how many are sold this summer.

Among those named in the Standard’s report was goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. The 31-year-old has taken a backseat to Kepa Arrizabalaga, with the Spaniard one of very few bright sparks at Stamford Bridge this term.

Mendy – a £22m signing from Rennes back in 2020 – wasted no time displacing Kepa upon arrival.

The Senegalese was favoured by Frank Lampard during his previous stint at the Chelsea helm. However, it’s been a different story since Lampard returned on an interim basis.

Niggling injuries have played into Lampard’s thinking, though when asked about going back to a player he previously favoured, Lampard admitted he sees no reason to recall Mendy.

“I don’t see any reasons to do anything differently at the moment, with Kepa’s performances and maturity,” said Lampard (via Chelsea’s official website).

Lampard subsequently added: “I’m not judging anything on my previous time at the club as opposed to what is in front of me now.”

SOURCES: Chelsea complete signing of talented Championship winger, with Boehly agreeing to transfer demand

Chelsea spy Mendy upgrade in Germany

Now, news coming out of Germany has put Chelsea in the frame to land a Mendy replacement. The player in question? Borussia Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel.

That’s according to BILD, with Chelsea seeking an ‘above average’ successor to Mendy.

Switzerland international Kobel is the man they’ve identified. The 25-year-old has reportedly been put ‘high on the scouting list’ at Stamford Bridge.

Fellow German outlet Sport1 previously reported Kobel was being eyed up by Bayern Munich and Man Utd. The Red Devils have persistently been linked with signing a new goalkeeper this summer amid the ongoing uncertainty over David de Gea.

The 32-year-old is out of contract at season’s end, though ESPN recently reported a breakthrough in negotiations over a new contract is close.

A Man Utd move for Kobel is unlikely to materialise if De Gea does pen fresh terms. As such, the path will be cleared for Chelsea to strike.

Barring a calamitous error in the 4-2 defeat to Bayern Munich on April 1, Kobel has been in superb form for Dortmund this term.

BILD add Dortmund are therefore hopeful of hanging on to their star stopper and Kobel himself is in no rush to leave.

However, money in football can and often does have the final say. If Chelsea bid big, Dortmund may find it difficult to ignore what would unquestionably be a healthy profit.

Kobel was signed from Stuttgart in 2021 for just €15m (approx. £13m). Transfermarkt now list his value at €35m (approx. £31m).

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