Chelsea manager Frank Lampard reportedly wants a new goalkeeper in the summer after omitting Kepa against Leicester on Saturday.
Kepa was dropped to the bench after a series of errors during the season so far and was replaced by 38-year-old veteran Willy Caballero in the 2-2 draw.
According to Spanish outlet Cope, Lampard has lost complete faith in the Spain international and may not start him again for the rest of the campaign.
The report adds that the Blues boss was thinking about making a change in goal for a while, but tried to give Kepa time to regain his best form due to the £71million the club spent to buy the keeper from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.
But it is now claimed that Lampard has asked the Stamford Bridge board to start looking for a replacement immediately so that they can finalise a move by June.
From Kepa’s point of view it could mean a damaging blow to his hopes of taking David De Gea’s starting spot for Spain in Euro 2020.
The 25-year-old was also hoping to oust the Manchester United stopper, but with very little game time that will prove an almost impossible decision for Sapin coach Luis Enrique to make.
Lampard claims he was not on the lookout for a new goalkeeper in January but insists Kepa needs to improve, and the recent omission poses as a major warning to the Spaniard.
The Blues boss said: “I’m not looking at signing a goalkeeper now. I’m aware of the criticism, but I’m not affected by it.
“Kepa knows there have been mistakes that have cost goals. That’s the nature of it and that needs to improve.”
Since his move to Chelsea, Kepa has made a 85 appearances in total and has conceded 94 goals.
He has played 24 times in the Premier League this season and also started in all six of the team’s Champions League games.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are close to reportedly agreeing a deal to bring Willian to the Camp Nou once his contract at Chelsea expires this summer.
Frank Lampard’s men are thought to have tried to renew the Brazilian attacker’s deal, which ends on June 30, but the 31-year-old wants a change of scene. Read more…