Pochettino picks No. 1 Chelsea target to banish lacklustre pair with ‘huge’ bid to secure upgrade

Manager Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino

Incoming Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has a three-man shortlist of goalkeeper targets his new club could sign in the summer, according to a report.

Neither Kepa Arrizabalaga nor Edouard Mendy have been able to demonstrate consistency in goal for Chelsea this season. Therefore, the Blues are in the market for a new number one, while each of their existing goalkeepers could leave.

To fill the void, various names have been linked. But Chelsea’s plans for their goalkeeping department seem to be becoming clearer.

According to an update from Football Insider, Pochettino has given the green light for Chelsea to prioritise signing a new keeper in the upcoming transfer window.

And as things stand, the name at the top of his list of targets is Aston Villa shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez. However, it will require a ‘huge’ bid for Chelsea – or anyone else – to be able to sign the World Cup winner.

Villa have Martinez – whom they signed from Arsenal back in 2020 – under contract for another four years. His stock is high after his success on the global stage with Argentina in the winter, which further adds to his value.

Chelsea are guaranteed to finish below Villa this season, which could complicate their hopes of signing Martinez even more.

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Chelsea identify two Martinez alternatives

With that in mind, there are two other prominent names on Chelsea’s shortlist. Also under consideration, per the report, are David Raya of Brentford and Andre Onana of Inter Milan.

Raya is about to enter the final year of his contract with Brentford, who are ready to replace him. He could swap one west-London club for another, though does have other suitors.

Onana, meanwhile, only joined Inter from Ajax last summer, but his current club’s financial difficulties could prompt them to turn a quick profit on him after just one season.

Similarly, Chelsea are not alone with their interest in Onana, who has never played in the Premier League before but appeals to various English clubs.

Whichever option Chelsea choose, they will hope to find some stability with their next goalkeeper. Previously, they made Kepa the most expensive keeper in history, only to see him struggle to live up to his price tag.

The signing of Mendy followed a couple of years later. Despite initially doing well and dislodging Arrizabalaga as the regular starter, the Senegal international has also encountered difficulties recently and has had to settle for a rotation role this season.

Now, Chelsea need some clarity over who their number one will be going forwards. It now seems obvious that neither Kepa nor Mendy will be that player, so a signing of some description can be expected in the summer.

If Pochettino gets his way, it could be his compatriot Martinez, who would get the chance to return to London in the process. But the Blues have their work cut out to get their man.

Martinez has also been linked with the likes of Tottenham and Man Utd recently. Yet one former Villa icon has suggested that Unai Emery’s side shouldn’t even be listening to offers for the 30-year-old.