Chelsea ‘expected’ to beat Liverpool, Man Utd to signing of Prem starlet; Kepa out, Onana in?

Jason Soutar
Reported Chelsea target Romeo Lavia and Eberechi Eze competing for the ball

Chelsea are reportedly willing to include goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in a deal to sign Inter Milan’s Andre Onana.

Onana joined the Italian giants from Ajax last summer after his contract with the Eredivisie champions expired.

The Cameroonian international is enjoying a fine season with the Nerazzurri and will be happy to be playing regularly again after his nine-month ban for consuming a banned substance.

Onana has established himself as one of the best ball-playing goalkeepers in the world while also being an excellent shot-stopper.

This has unsurprisingly caught the attention of several top clubs. But why would he leave Champions League semi-finalists Inter Milan for the shambles at Stamford Bridge?

Chelsea are one of those clubs interested in signing the 27-year-old, however.

Last month, Sport Mediaset Marco Barzaghi stated that the Blues were hoping to tempt Inter into a sale by offering them €40million plus Edouard Mendy.

And now La Gazzetta dello Sport say Chelsea and Inter are set to meet later this week to negotiate a deal that will see Kepa go to Inter in exchange for Onana.

The same fee is mentioned, meaning the terms will be the exact same as what Barzaghi reported, only it will include the other Chelsea goalkeeper.

Inter are already looking at other goalkeepers so could be willing to sell Onana this summer.

Should the ex-Ajax man join Chelsea, the Serie A side plan to pursue Empoli’s Guglielmo Vicario.

The Blues are expected to be busy this summer despite the fact they have invested around £600m across the last two transfer windows.

Despite their heavy spending, they are without a natural striker, and could do with signing a defensive midfielder and goalkeeper.

The signing of a new No. 1 will probably only be made if the Blues can get rid of Mendy or Kepa.

Chelsea did sign World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez in January, though he is not someone who should be used as a No. 6.

An out-and-out No. 6 the Londoners’ are reportedly interested in signing is Southampton youngster Romeo Lavia.

It was reported over the weekend that Chelsea are close to signing the Belgian international.

And now Spanish outlet TodoFichajes say an agreement is indeed ‘very close’

Lavia only joined Southampton from Manchester City for £14m last summer, and the Blues reportedly tried to sign him in the same window.

This was unsurprisingly rejected by the Saints and Frank Lampard’s side remain interested ahead of the summer transfer window.

The report says Chelsea are in ‘advanced negotiations’ to sign the 19-year-old after he ‘jumped to the top’ of the Blues’ transfer wishlist.

Chelsea want to act fast to avoid losing Lavia to another club with Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool also keen.

It is noted that City have the option to re-sign Lavia for £45m, though the clause will not become active until 2024.

City’s buyback clause has encouraged the likes of Chelsea to act now and secure the signing of the promising teenager this summer.

Lavia is ‘expected’ to join the Stamford Bridge club, even if the Saints avoid relegation from the Premier League.

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