Chelsea have made Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan their ‘priority’ signing for the upcoming summer transfer window, as Frank Lampard loses patience with struggling stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Lampard made his feelings clear over the performances of the Spaniard by dropping him for their most recent Premier League clash with Leicester, with veteran Willy Caballero taking his place in the starting lineup.
The 25-year-old cost Chelsea £72m back in the summer of 2018 and, while he performed well in his first season, his form has dropped drastically for the current campaign with a string of high-profile errors costing the Blues on numerous occasions. Furthermore, Kepa has conceded 32 goals in 24 Premier League games, keeping just five clean sheets during that time.
Adamant in his view on Kepa, Lampard looks set to clash with club officials who are not as keen on replacing the under-fire Spaniard, meanwhile other reports suggest former side Athletic Club are monitoring his situation should anything occur during the summer.
The likes of Dean Henderson and Nick Pope have been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but the latest gossip from France suggests that Chelsea have their sights set on Lille’s Maignan. Eurosport’s Manu Lonjon claims that the Blues have ‘supervised him for many months’, and that the Frenchman is the club’s ‘priority for this summer’.
Maignan has been in fine form for Lille this season, conceding just 25 goals as Les Dogues sit fourth in Ligue 1. He’s been with the club since 2015, breaking into the first-team fold at the beginning of the 2017/18 season, and remaining as the club’s undisputed number one ever since.
If Lampard is to ship Kepa out then it would require a substantial fee from any interested parties to take him on, with the Blues wanting to recoup most of the £72m they forked out for the goalkeeper when he left La Liga. Moreover, his wages will prove to be a stumbling block, as the Spaniard is one of the club’s highest earners on around £150k-per-week.
With the winter break now taking place, it will be interesting to see whether Kepa will return to the team as Lampard continues to question the long-term future of the club’s record signing.