Pochettino suffers brutal Chelsea setback as plan to replace flaky pair with spectacular Man Utd target goes up in flames

Manager Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino looks set to be denied the chance to replace two Chelsea players he’s ‘unconvinced’ by with an imperious Man Utd target, per reports.

Pochettino, 51, is poised to be installed as the next permanent Chelsea manager. Frank Lampard will remain at the helm to see out the season, though per the Mirror, Pochettino is already formulating plans over how to attack the summer transfer window.

The Argentine is casting his eye over the squad he’ll inherit and per the outlet, he’s been left ‘unconvinced’ by his goalkeeping options.

Kepa Arrizalabaga and Edouard Mendy are Chelsea’s frontline stoppers. Kepa has been among Chelsea’s rare bright sparks this term, though Pochettino fancies an upgrade.

Fabrizio Romano reported Mendy is the likeliest of the pair to be sold if a new keeper is signed. Logic would then dictate the new face usurps Kepa as the No 1 who’ll revert to a bench role.

Sky Italia’s ultra-reliable Gianluca Di Marzio claimed Chelsea and Man Utd are high on the idea of signing Inter Milan’s Andre Onana.

The 27-year-old has been in irresistible form for Inter this term, particularly in the Champions League.

Indeed, Onana leads this year’s competition with seven clean sheets (two more than anyone else). He also tops the goals prevented category with a mark of 6.1. For context, Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois is second with 5.5 goals prevented.

Di Marzio claimed Inter would seek at least €50m (approx. £44m) if forced to cash in. The Italian heavyweight are known to be in need of raising around €50m through players sales to help balance the books this summer.

However, according to Inter CEO Beppe Marotta, Onana is not among those they’re prepared to let go.

Via Football Italia, Marotta said: “It is difficult to predict the future, but we have not received any offers and the goalkeeper (Onana) wants to stay here.

“We do not intend to put him on the market.”

Inter well placed to fend off Chelsea

Of course, Marotta’s statement could be mere posturing in order to drive a hard bargain. However, Onana only arrived at Inter last summer and is under contract until 2027.

Inter are thus in a strong bargaining position with regards to Onana specifically.

The fact they’re also poised to advance to a first Champions League final since 2010 suggests they’re a club heading in the right direction. Inter dominated bitter rivals AC Milan in the first leg of their semi-final clash, emerging with a handy 2-0 victory.

Inter will also contest the Coppa Italia final against Fiorentina on May 24 and sit fourth in Serie A.

If they fail to win the UCL, they’re on course to secure qualification to next year’s competition through league position. Chelsea, meanwhile, will not be in next season’s Champions League.

As such, Pochettino may have to look elsewhere if he’s dead set on revamping Chelsea’s goalkeeping position.

SOURCES: Chelsea exodus begins with agreement reached for star who’ll head to Champions League club for nothing