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Serie A club have shown interest in signing underused Chelsea ace earning £170k-a-week

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Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, is a transfer target for Lazio. (imago Images)

Transfer News: Lazio have shown interest in signing Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga

According to The Athletic [Subscription Required] (h/t ESPN), there is truth in the rumours that Lazio have shown an interest in signing Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. He has been unable to dethrone Edouard Mendy from the starting spot since the latter moved to Stamford Bridge from Ligue 1.

Despite their interest in Kepa, the Serie A side apparently cannot pay his salary package worth £170,000-a-week, which could spoil their plans of a potential move. They are managed by the former Blues manager Maurizio Sarri under whom he had enjoyed a solid spell, unlike his time with Frank Lampard.

The 27-year-old could call it a day if he thinks that he needs regular game time to make the Spain team for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. With Mendy out on international duty for the Africa Cup of Nations, he has found himself in the starting spot, but that could change quickly once the competition ends.

Lazio wants to sign Chelsea star Kepa Arrizabalaga on permanent transfer.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is eyed by Lazio for a permanent transfer.

Departure in the cards?

The Spaniard has found a second life with us since Thomas Tuchel has taken over the managerial role. He has shown glimpses of his old self from Athletic Bilbao, but it is unlikely that he could take over the number one spot from the Senegalese superstar.

It would, however, make very little sense for us to send him out this month with Mendy busy at AFCON. Apart from Kepa, we are left with no quality options in the goalkeeping department and this potential decision could really come back to bite us big.

We would want the Spain international to stay as his quality would ensure that we have a strong lineup in the goalkeeping position, safeguarding our interests in case of an injury or a suspension. Not to mention, the current Omicron situation across the world makes it all the more important to have a mix of quality and depth within the team.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is behind Edouard Mendy in the pecking order.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is behind Edouard Mendy in the pecking order.

The Spanish keeper has never really lived up to the price tag of €80million that we paid to Athletic Bilbao, and he may never get enough chances due to Mendy being our first choice. But we cannot blame him if he ends up taking a firm stance to leave us sometime in the future to gain more prominence elsewhere.

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After all, he is in the peak years of his career and would want to be a shoo-in for the Spain national team spot. It remains to be seen how we choose to manage his career at the Bridge and if he stays content warming the bench behind the Senegalese star.

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