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Chelsea splashed out a hefty £71m fee to sign the 27-year-old Spaniard from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 after the departure of Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid.
Kepa, who was the most expensive ‘keeper in the world before Liverpool signed Alisson, was ousted as Chelsea’s No 1 by club teammate Mendy.
The Chelsea star has been battling for minutes at Stamford Bridge since the arrival of Mendy, who was brought to the club by Blues legend Frank Lampard in 2020.
However, Mendy’s international duties with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations allowed Kepa to shine for Chelsea between the sticks.
Kepa has managed four clean sheets in seven starts since Mendy linked up with his Senegal teammates for AFCON, which Aliou Cisse’s men won last Sunday.
The Spain international was in action for Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Al Hilal in the Club World Cup semi-final on Sunday.
However, ESPN reports that Chelsea boss Tuchel is ‘seriously considering replacing’ Kepa with Mendy for the Club World Cup final against Palmeiras on Saturday.
Mendy, 29, returned to Chelsea’s Ritz-Carlton hotel base on Wednesday after Senegal beat Egypt on penalties in the AFCON final.
Chelsea’s coaching staff has acknowledged ‘key improvements’ Kepa has made in recent months, but he could still be axed from Stamford Bridge going forward.
Kepa has ‘responded well’ to the idea of altering his goalkeeping style by adopting a ‘more aggressive’ approach and ‘avoiding the temptation to retreat’ to his line, according to ESPN.
But the publication believes the former Bilbao ‘keeper is ‘facing a fight to save his Chelsea career,’ even after impressing Chelsea’s coaching staff.
ESPN reports that Kepa’s lack of playing time at Chelsea with the return of Mendy means the club are ‘willing to listen to offers for the Spaniard.’
Kepa’s current contract with Chelsea expires in 2025, with the Spanish shot-stopper earning £150,000-a-week wages at the club.
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