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Chelsea approach French international goalkeeper as Begović replacement

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

For the past couple seasons, Chelsea have been spoiled by having the best backup goalkeepers in the Premier League, with Petr Čech fulfilling that role in our title-winning season and Asmir Begović doing so last season.  But keeping two starting-calibre goalkeepers happy is a nigh impossible task.  Čech left for Arsenal last summer, and there are plenty of rumors around Begović doing the same this summer despite having three more years left on his contract.  Perhaps he knows that it's unlikely that Courtois goes back-to-back seasons with major knee injuries.

Along this narrative thread comes the rumor from the Guardian that Chelsea have approached and "held talks" with Steve Mandanda whose contract is expiring at the end of the month.  Mandanda has expressed interest in going to either the Premier League or La Liga just recently, ready to explore a league other than just the French one before he calls an end to his career.

Mandanda has been at this long enough that I remember him as a budding talent to sign in Football Manager 2007-ish, which is about the extent of my familiarity with him.  But I gather he's pretty decent, as also evidenced by the fact that the 31-year-old is part of the French squad at Euro 2016.  So perhaps there's even a bit of a sneak-upgrade here from Chelsea, just in case Courtois's struggles continue next season as well, giving us an option even better than Begović.

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