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Ligue 1 side OGC Nice are interested in signing Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to reports in France.
Nice’s goalkeeper from last season, Walter Benitez, officially completed a move to Eredevise’s PSV during the summer transfer window.
Therefore, the French side are seeking a replacement goalkeeping option in the coming months.
Thomas Tuchel confirmed towards the end of last season that he will hold talks with his goalkeeper regarding a potential move this summer.
“It depends what he wants and what his plans are,” Tuchel said last month over whether or not the Spaniard would remain at Chelsea next season.
“I know that we are very privileged to have Edou and Kepa in our squad but I also know for sure that Kepa is not happy about the situation because he deserved to play more and he can be a very strong number one.
"He arrived as a number one so the situation is not easy. He has been a fantastic team player since day one and never let anybody down.
“We did not have a conversation yet but I know that the goalkeeper coaches have these conversations at the moment and then we will take our time to speak with him and reflect on what’s best and what the possibilities are.
"As a coach, of course I’m super happy to have both strong goalkeepers so let’s see.”
And now, as reported by footmercato.net, Nice’s ‘clear objective’ is to try and sign Arrizabalaga on loan this summer.
The Spaniard is aware that he must ‘revive’ his career if he wishes to play for his country at the World Cup in November.
The Spain number one shirt appears to be up for grabs, with Unai Simon the most recent player to claim his spot in net for Luis Enrique’s side.
Kepa has been out of the squad for some time, playing as back-up to Edoaurd Mendy at Chelsea since his arrival in 2020.
He has recently been linked with a reunion with Maurizio Sarri at Lazio, but Nice could prove to be an excellent option.
Nice are owned by INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who submitted a late bid to buy the club after long-term interest before Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital were named as owners.
The new Chelsea owners could look to deal with one of their rival bidders as a loan move looks increasingly likely for Kepa this summer.
Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha has been linked with a move as a potential replacement, available on a free transfer.
Chicago Fire's Gabriel Slonina is also closing in on a transfer to Chelsea but appears to be set for a loan move back to the MLS Side.
Southampton Under-18 shot-stopper Eddie Beach is also set to sign for the Blues but will most likely feature for the development sides.
Therefore, if Kepa is to depart, Chelsea will most likely still look to dip into the market for a replacement.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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