Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is on the shortlist of OGC Nice to replace Walter Benitez, according to a report from France.
Nice sold Benitez to PSV on Tuesday and now need to address their goalkeeping options. They have signed former Chelsea youngster Marcin Bulka after a loan spell from PSG. Now, they could look towards London to find their new number one.
Bulka was largely restricted to cup appearances last season, when playing as Benitez’s deputy. Now, Nice are thinking about bringing a new starter in for him to support.
In that regard, they are showing an interest in Chelsea flop Kepa, according to Foot Mercato.
The Spaniard became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Chelsea in 2018. Since then, though, he has struggled to justify his price tag.
Edouard Mendy arrived to usurp him as first choice for Chelsea in 2020. After two years spent mostly on the bench, it could be time for Kepa to find somewhere new to play.
There have been a range of exit links for the 27-year-old. As Foot Mercato note, he has potential suitors in Spain and Italy.
But Nice could offer him a new platform in France, if Chelsea are willing to let them have him on a loan deal. Kepa would also have to approve of the destination.
He is clear that he needs to get back to being a regular starter if he is to stand any chance of making the Spain squad for this year’s World Cup. Therefore, a departure from Chelsea is on the agenda.
Whether it could be to Nice, only time will tell.
Kepa must pick next club carefully
At this stage of his career, Kepa needs to carefully select where he wants to play next. He cannot afford to be a rotation option any longer if he wants to stay in Spain contention.
Kepa Arrizabalaga needs honest talks with Chelsea about his future
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Therefore, choosing Nice would be beneficial, since there is a space for them to fill in goal.
However, they would only have Europa Conference League football on offer in terms of continental involvement, as opposed to the Champions League or Europa League.
Still, it is a decent level, although there could be several changes at the French club. Indeed, their manager, Christophe Galtier, is being targeted by PSG.
Perhaps Kepa should wait until they have more clarity, but it is an ambitious club, so they could still be appealing.