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Thomas Strakosha dreaming of Premier League, ‘completely honoured’ by Chelsea interest


Lazio v Hellas Verona - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha will be a free agent at the end of the month and is set to leave (Maurizio Sarri’s) Lazio after five years. The Albania international had spent most of those years as first-choice, but Sarri has often preferred Pepe Reina instead — though both Reina and Strakosha are leaving this summer anyway.

Strakosha has been strongly linked with Fulham, but has revealed to Fabrizio Romano that he’s received interest from Chelsea, which is making his decision a lot harder and more complicated. (Newly promoted Fulham in turn have been linked with Bernd Leno now as well.)

“I’m completely honoured to be linked with a club like Chelsea. I think all the clubs in the Premier League, to be linked, it’s really important because, for me, it’s the best league in the world. It’s an honour. I’m really happy.

“I started from the bottom dreaming of this moment, so to be linked with them, it’s a big honour and a big pleasure for my family and me. Whatever Premier League club is interested, it’s an honour because I respect every club.”

“I will still take my time to decide. I’m happy to have many things to decide, even if it makes my decision a lot harder. I’m really happy about that. My dream is to win more titles. I want to end my career with many trophies, playing in the Champions League and, one day, winning the Champions League. It’s been two years since my last title, so I’m a little hungry.”

-Thomas Strakosha; source: Here We Go podcast via teamTalk

Well, Thomas, you ain’t winning the Champions League at Fulham, that’s for sure.

Strakosha, 27, would be an excellent backup to Édouard Mendy, though obviously we’d have to find a way to shift Kepa Arrizabalaga first. (Lazio themselves were supposedly interested, but Newcastle United may be the only team with both the money and the potential desire to make a move.) And there’s also former Fulham man Marcus Bettinelli, who probably doesn’t want to be third-choice again either.

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