Chelsea deliberating over senior player’s exit as Leeds star is being considered as replacement

Ben Stewart
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Edouard Mendy, Chelsea, August 2021

Chelsea are expected to be busy in the summer transfer window once again as several high-profile stars could be shown the exit door.

Graham Potter’s side have established some consistency recently, but they are still way off a top four spot. Given they are likely to be without Champions League football next season, a squad reshape is expected.

One of the biggest talking points with Chelsea this season has been their goalkeeping department. Kepa Arrizabalaga has been Chelsea’s first choice under Potter during this campaign.

As a result of a dip in form and a shoulder injury, Edouard Mendy has been out of the picture of late. He is under contract until 2025, although his future is very much up in the air.

Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge to replace him and Fabrizio Romano has explained the latest situation.

“Links with someone like Illan Meslier and a top club like Chelsea are normal, he’s a very talented goalkeeper and many clubs have sent their scouts to follow him,” Romano explained in his Daily Briefing for CaughtOffside.

“But at the moment, Leeds want to keep things quiet and not to open any negotiation now. Chelsea are yet to make a decision on the goalkeepers situation.

“It’s a possibility that Edouard Mendy will leave Chelsea in the summer, but not something 100% decided yet. March is not time for final decision, also at Chelsea.

“Also, goalkeepers market is always a domino; not easy to find solution, and it hasn’t started yet.”

Kepa has done well since being reintroduced into the starting line up as he has prevented 5.3 goals in the league alone. Based on post-shot expected goals, only Alisson has prevented more goals than Kepa this season.

Meslier has other suitors

Leeds will do well to keep hold of Meslier as he has plenty of potential suitors. Along with Chelsea, the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United have also been linked.

The French goalkeeper is only 23 years old and he has already made over 100 Premier League appearances. Given his potential, it’s easy to see why so many clubs are interested.

This season in the Premier League he has made 80 saves which is the fifth most of any goalkeeper. He will have a vital role to play in the final months of the season as Leeds battle for survival.

His current deal at Elland Road runs until the summer of 2026 and so Leeds are in a strong position to determine his value.

Recent reports have suggested that Leeds value the goalkeeper at around £30million. The likes of Chelsea and Tottenham could afford this, but they may seek alternative options for cheaper.

Given his age, potential and Premier League experience, it is easy to see why Leeds would value the goalkeeper so highly.

As the goalkeeping market tends to be unpredictable, Chelsea will be keeping their options open ahead of the summer.

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