Premier League • England

Chelsea chiefs sense time is right to axe costly star, as Newcastle plot blockbuster £50m move

Chelsea players Saul Niguez, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi celebrate a Carabao Cup win against Southampton, October 2021

Chelsea chiefs have determined this summer is the perfect time to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga, with a report claiming Newcastle and a host of Spanish clubs are plotting moves.

The Spaniard, 27, became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when Chelsea paid Athletic Bilbao £72m for his signature in 2018. Kepa initially struggled with the physicality of the Premier League. Though so too did Man Utd legend David de Gea in his early days in England.

However, unlike the Man Utd stopper, Kepa’s rate of improvement and adaptation was not as impressive. As such, Chelsea went into the market to remedy the problem when landing Edouard Mendy last season.

The Senegalese has quickly established himself as the undisputed No 1 between the sticks. Kepa has thus been relegated to outings in the cup competitions, along with rare opportunities when Mendy is either injured or absent on international duty.

However, Kepa has flourished in his reduced role under Thomas Tuchel especially. And as a result, Blues chiefs want to cash in with his stock now higher than at any point during his stint at Stamford Bridge.

That’s according to the Daily Star, who claim Chelsea chiefs will ‘push to get him off the books this summer’.

Ruthless Newcastle owners want mass upgrades

Cash-rich Newcastle are stated to be in the mix along with several LaLiga clubs including Atletico Madrid.

Eddie Howe is deemed a big fan of current Toon keeper Martin Dubravka. However, the club’s ambitious owners want to sign upgrades in every department of Howe’s squad.

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The report adds Chelsea would be willing to sanction an exit if an offer of around £50m is lodged. That could also come in the form of a loan deal with an obligation to buy.

Even a sale at £50m would net Chelsea a £22m loss on the keeper. However, any club must take note if offered £50m for a back-up star and that money could go towards strengthening a starting position elsewhere.

West Brom wonderkid sparks Chelsea, Man City battle

Meanwhile, West Brom wonderkid Jamaldeen Jimoh is attracting the attention of England’s biggest clubs with Man City poised to battle Chelsea for his signature, claims a report.

Chelsea set about replenishing their youth ranks last month when acquiring 18-year-old left-back Dylan Williams from Derby County. Striker Mason Burstow also arrived from Charlton Athletic as the Blues began to arrest their worrying talent drain.

Indeed, Chelsea have been relieved of some of their most promising prospects in recent windows. Tariq Lamptey, Valentino Livramento, Lewis Bate and Myles Peart-Harris are just four of the raft of youngsters Chelsea have seen poached.

So it comes as no surprise to see the Sun report Chelsea are hot on the heels of West Brom wonderkid Jamaldeen Jimoh.

The 15-year-old is described as a ‘midfield dynamo’ by the newspaper and has been selected for England’s Under-16s.

That particular Young Lions squad currently boasts four Chelsea starlets. That’s reportedly something the Sun hinted may aid Chelsea in their transfer pursuit.

However, the outlet states Man City have entered the frame and are ‘confident’ of muscling Chelsea off the scent.

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