Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has emerged as a target for Chelsea as they ponder signing a replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Spanish shot-stopper’s future at Stamford Bridge has come into question after he was dropped for the Blues’ draw with Leicester City, with some reports suggesting that Frank Lampard has demanded the club sign a new number one.
“You make decisions every week and every day in this job. No decision is easy,” the former midfielder said when explaining his decision to drop Kepa.
“When it comes to a goalkeeper you probably do give it a little bit more thought and a bit more time, especially if someone seems to be the designated number one.
“That can’t be the end of the story. We have to be competitive. Willy trains well, he acts well and he played well against Hull last week. I decided to stick with him.”
Previous reports had indicated that Lampard would look within the Premier League to sign a new keeper, with Burnley’s Nick Pope and Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita among the contenders.
However, Goal throw another name into the hat, by suggesting that Ajax’s Onana is an option, and the player would be open to the move.
Onana is one of the most in-demand keepers in Europe, having impressed since leaving Barcelona’s academy for Ajax in 2015. The 23-year-old, who is also a full Cameroon international, has been a regular starter for Ajax for the past four seasons.
He had been linked with a return to Barcelona in the future, while Manchester United have also been credited with an interest, but Goal claim that Onana is on Chelsea’s shortlist – even if Lampard is going to wait to consult his goalkeeping coaches before arriving at a final decision over whether to ditch Kepa.
Barcelona would have to make sales before they could bring in Onana, whereas it is thought he could move to Chelsea more quickly – with the player keen to test himself in the Premier League.
Lampard is aware of Onana with Chelsea having come up against him in the Champions League group stage this season, and even though he remains under contract at Ajax until 2022, the Cameroonian remains receptive to the situation at Stamford Bridge, as he looks for a way into Premier League football.
Another keeper who Chelsea faced in the Champions League, Lille’s Mike Maignan, has also been linked with the Blues if they decide to part ways with Kepa.