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One less name on Chelsea goalkeeper shortlist as Ter Stegen agrees Barcelona contract — reports

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Expected things happening

Real Valladolid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s performances took a major dip this year, leading to Frank Lampard dropping him twice from the starting lineup, including at season’s end. The big question for the summer is: who will Chelsea sign to replace the most expensive goalkeeper in the world?

Earlier reports claimed that Chelsea drew up two shortlists, one in case Kepa leaves, and one in case he stays. The first list is said include expensive, semi-realistic names like Jan Oblak and Marc-André ter Stegen, while the other supposedly includes less expensive but more realistic and probably options like André Onana and Nick Pope.

It was always going to be a tall task to sign anybody from the first list, and that’s before we even considered the unlikelihood of being able to jettison Arrizabalaga. Atléico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo recently made clear his intention to keep Oblak, and something similar is happening with Ter Stegen as well.

According to Fabrizio Romano, the 28-year-old has agreed to a new deal with Barcelona, and will sign a new contract until 2025. This follows from earlier reports, with Barcelona always confident of holding on to their starting goalkeeper.

Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu also insinuated the same in a recent interview.

“Marc is an excellent player and person, he has always shown that as a goalkeeper. With the current situation with COVID-19, he said, ’Let’s hope everything is calmer to talk about it in the future.’ But his future is to renew with Barca. We have a goalkeeper for many years because he is young. When everything passes, we will talk with Marc to finalise his renewal.”

-Josep Maria Bartomeu; source: beIN Sports (via Diario AS)

While this does reduce Chelsea’s options to reinforce our goalkeeper position, Ter Stegen was always unlikely to come to Stamford Bridge. The silver lining, however, is that Barcelona will now step back from their “pursuit” of André Onana, which should boost Chelsea’s chances.