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Serie A side on the verge of signing Chelsea star on loan this summer

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Transfer News: Napoli are interested in Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Transfer News: Chelsea on the verge of loaning Kepa Arrizabalaga to Napoli this summer

According to Gianluca Di Marzio (h/t Daily Star), most of the paperwork has been agreed for a deal that would see Kepa Arrizabalaga leave Chelsea for Napoli on a loan deal.

The Spaniard has played second fiddle to Edouard Mendy ever since his arrival from Stade Rennais in 2020. But this summer could be the time when the 27-year-old cut ties with the London club.

Chelsea broke the world-record fee and bought Kepa from Spanish side Athletic Bilbao to replace the outgoing Thibaut Courtois in 2018. But a series of blunders and silly mistakes could have played a role in Frank Lampard entering the market for a new goalie.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has lost his place to Mendy in the squad.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has lost his place to Mendy in the squad.

Now the club is looking to let the player leave this summer, with a loan deal to Napoli potentially close. But there is another downside to it. It is being said that the Blues will still have to pay 75% of the Spaniard’s wages.

The shot-stopper is said to earn £150,000-a-week, making him one of the highest paid players in the club. If the report is true, that means Chelsea will pay £112,500-a-week for him to play in Serie A next season. This is very less likely to be welcomed by the Blue’s faithful.

With the World Cup in sight, Kepa is hoping to get more playing time in a bid to make it to the Spanish national team. But his departure could leave Thomas Tuchel with another area that will need bolstering. Marcus Bettinelli is the only back-up option available to Mendy and he could have to step up in case of an emergency.

Marcus Bettinelli could have to step up in case  of an emergency next season.
Marcus Bettinelli could have to step up in case of an emergency next season.

Chelsea are said to have finalised the deal for Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina. However, the 18-year-old will join the club in January after completing the season with his MLS side. With Tuchel focused on bolstering his defence, the need for a goalkeeper could add more headaches for him.

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It will be interesting to see if Chelsea do target another goalkeeper. Mendy looks very likely to remain the undisputed number one for Chelsea in between the sticks next season.

As for the fans, they will hope Kepa can find his form and challenge Mendy for his place in the future but they would also understand if the goalie wants regular playing time to make Spain’s 26-man shortlist for the FIFA World Cup in November.

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