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Chelsea goalkeeper speculation: Ajax set Onana asking price; Areola unwanted at Real


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Dutch Eredivisie”SC Heerenveen v Ajax Amsterdam”

We can only assume that football will return one day, hopefully within a couple months, even, at which point we can start occupying our minds with non-important things once again, like whether Chelsea can finish in the top-four (or five, if Manchester City’s European ban remains in effect) and whether the Youth Revolution™ can be translated into sustained success under Frank Lampard.

One of more pressing details in all that will be the club’s goalkeeper situation. World record-signing Kepa Arrizabalaga has flattered to deceive for much of the season, and was even dropped for a time for the league’s oldest player. Kepa did seem to recover his form and confidence a bit just before the coronavirus hit, but the narrative of the club needing to either replace him or at least challenge him with someone other than Willy Caballero (who may be retiring from playing anyway) remains very much in place.

To that effect, one of the names most frequently mentioned in the rumor mill has been Ajax’s André Onana. In addition to the opportunity to make a football chant out of Havana, the former Barcelona youth prospect could certainly fulfill either of those roles, though whether he’d settle for such a competitive situation is not nearly as certain (despite the wooing of Chelsea-bound teammate Hakim Ziyech). There are plenty of teams interested in Onana, many of whom would undoubtedly make him their number one from the start. Still, Chelsea have nothing to lose in trying to go after the 24-year-old, who apparently would only cost £35m, which isn’t too outrageous — though we don’t know how much the pandemic will have affected the transfer market.

Meanwhile, and I’m just speculating here, recent reports out of Spain claim that Real Madrid backup Alphonse Areola will be returning to PSG when his loan expires at the end of the season. But he’s not expected to stick around there for too long either, and could (should?) be available for a reasonable fee, or perhaps even a loan given that he will have three years left still on his PSG contract. The 27-year-old was briefly linked with Chelsea as a potential Courtois-replacement two years ago, and we already know that Academy and loan group goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon rates him highly. Opportunity?

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