Transfer News: Chelsea face competition to land veteran goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli
The 29-year-old is now a free agent after being released by Fulham. The Cottagers were relegated last season and now face a summer of rebuild. Bettinelli came through the ranks at Craven Cottage, making 129 appearances for the club since signing his first professional contract with the club in 2010.
While Fulham will now fight it out in the second tier, Bettinelli could remain in the top flight. Both Arsenal and Aston Villa are also interested in him and will challenge Chelsea for the transfer.
The Englishman spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough. He played a key role for Neil Warnock’s team as they fell short of securing a play-off spot.
Villa needs a new goalkeeper who can challenge No.1 Emi Martinez and back-up Jed Steer in the upcoming campaign In the 29-year-old, they will be getting not just an experienced player but also a veteran of the game on a Bosman. Given that he is only going to be a backup, it represents value for money.
With Kepa Arrizzabalaga also at the club, it is safe to say that Bettinelli would, at best, be Chelsea’s third-choice goalkeeper behind Edouard Mendy and the Spaniard. He will at best be asked to play in cup games and is more likely a permanent fixture on the bench.
Signing the 29-year-old will give us cover and also help fill a spot in the homegrown quota. It is basically a low-risk move that the Blues could make use of this summer.
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Bettinelli was called into the England squad by Gareth Southgate during the 2017/2018 season following a series of eye-catching performances for Fulham. However, the club’s relegation from the Premier League put an end to such aspirations.
A late bloomer, it can be argued that he has one last big move left in him before turning 30. Whether that challenge will be met at Chelsea remains to be seen.
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