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Goalkeeper coach Gianluca Spinelli joins PSG from Chelsea

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Another possible sign that Courtois is leaving Chelsea

lol Hilario
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea’s (now former) goalkeeping coach Gianluca Spinelli has joined Paris Saint-Germain today, signing a five-year contract until June 2023. At PSG, he will link up with the legendary Gianluigi Buffon, with whom he worked for over three years at the Italian national team. Buffon left Juventus earlier this summer to finish out his playing career in Paris.

Spinelli had been rumored to be one of just two coaches brought to Chelsea by Antonio Conte to stay behind after Conte’s sacking last week, but as it turns out, that will not be the case. Head fitness coach Paolo Bertelli was the other one staying, and he appears to still be employed by the Blues. (Carlo Cudicini is also staying, but he was here before Conte already.)

Spinelli joined alongside Conte in 2016, and replaced long-time goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon, who had held the position for nearly a decade. Lollichon had a fantastic working relationship with Petr Cech, but that wasn’t quite the case with Thibaut Courtois, and was thus moved into a role with loan group instead. Courtois wanted to bring in his own coach at one point, but the matter was instead settled by appointing Spinelli, who did excellent work. and helped Courtois feel “the best he’d ever felt at Chelsea”.

With Spinelli out, the assumption is that Lollichon returns to his previous role, at least temporarily, with assistant goalkeeper coach Hilario continuing in his role. As far as a new goalkeeper coach may be concerned, there are conflicting reports about whether Sarri will bring one in (if he is, it may be Massimo Nenci, who’s currently still with Napoli).

Spinelli’s departure can also be seen as confirmation that Courtois is also leaving, as the narrative was that Spinelli was only staying if Courtois was going to stay as well. Meanwhile, Spinelli’s arrival at PSG can also add some weight to rumors that Gianluigi Donnarumma will join them, too, to work with not only Buffon but the goalkeeping coach he already know from the national team.