Premier League • England

‘Too expensive’ – Chelsea pull plug on world class signing, with shock alternative now possible

AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan surrounded by Napoli stars

AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan surrounded by Napoli stars

A world class star who would’ve walked straight into Mauricio Pochettino’s starting eleven is “too expensive” for Chelsea, and one source claims an academy graduate might be given a chance to shine instead.

The Blues have signed Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson to breathe new life into their forward line. Further back, Brighton’s Moises Caicedo remains priority No 1 in midfield, while Fabrizio Romano confirmed Chelsea will explore the centre-back market after Wesley Fofana suffered a serious knee injury that’s required surgery to fix.

However, with Edouard Mendy joining Al Ahli, Chelsea lack an established and top class star who can put significant pressure on and compete with Kepa Arrizalabaga.

Andre Onana was known to be on Chelsea’s radar amid the Mirror claiming Pochettino was left unimpressed by both Kepa and Mendy.

But while Mendy was jettisoned out of the club, Chelsea never tabled a bid for Onana.

Instead, an audacious swoop for AC Milan and France No 1, Mike Maignan, has been floated.

But according to reporter and Chelsea expert Nathan Gissing, the 28-year-old is “too expensive” for the Blues at this moment in time.

Fabrizio Romano previously declared Milan would require an offer in excess of €60m (approx. £51.5m) before even considering selling their superstar stopper. Per Gissing, that is simply not a viable number for Chelsea at present.

Instead, Gissing claimed a more budget-friendly alternative who would compete with and not necessarily displace Kepa is being sought.

Failing that, Chelsea might actually install academy graduate Jamie Cumming as the No 2 on the back of an award-winning campaign with MK Dons.

Chelsea want cheaper GK, but could turn to Cumming

“I’m told Chelsea are still looking at a goalkeeper,” Gissing told The Byline YouTube channel. “They liked Onana but never made a move.

“They’re just being very careful on the prices this year because as we knew in June, Chelsea had to sell before they could push for deals.

“Maignan… I’m told he’s too expensive for Chelsea. They’re looking for that player who isn’t overly expensive but can still compete with Kepa.”

Gissing went on to suggest concrete transfer targets between the sticks are likely to emerge in August.

But if the Blues ultimately opt against signing a new goalkeeper, 23-year-old Jamie Cumming “could wind up being the No 2.”

Cumming has spent the last 18 months loaned to MK Dons and was named their player of the year last season.

Explaining why that decision is more viable than you might think, Gissing pointed to the fact Chelsea have no European football at Stamford Bridge this season.

As such, a move to sign competition for Kepa or potentially an upgrade on the Spaniard could conceivably wait a year.

Gissing concluded: “Chelsea don’t want to spend crazy money on a goalkeeper [this summer].”

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