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Chelsea 'open to summer bids for Robert Sanchez'

Chelsea 'open to summer bids for Robert Sanchez'
© Reuters
Chelsea are reportedly open to summer offers for goalkeeper Robert Sanchez as they search for a new number one stopper in the upcoming window.

Chelsea are reportedly prepared to entertain summer bids for number one goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, just one year after his arrival at Stamford Bridge.

The Spain international departed Brighton & Hove Albion last summer to make the switch to West London, where he would succeed Al-Ahli-bound Edouard Mendy.

Sanchez immediately cemented himself as Mauricio Pochettino's number one - also starting early EFL Cup ties ahead of Djordje Petrovic - but he only kept five clean sheets in his opening 19 games for the club.

The 26-year-old registered three shut-outs and conceded 25 goals in his first 16 Premier League matches in a Chelsea jersey, but he has spent the last two months on the sidelines with a knee injury sustained in the 2-0 loss to Everton on December 10.

Sanchez's absence has allowed Petrovic to earn a string of starts in the Blues' XI, and the Serbian - who is also in his first year at Stamford Bridge - has helped Chelsea reach the final of the EFL Cup, which he will be expected to start on Sunday against Liverpool.

 Chelsea's Thiago Silva, Robert Sanchez and Axel Disasi look dejected after Michail Antonio scores for West Ham United on August 20, 2023© Reuters

Petrovic has also shipped just one goal in three FA Cup matches with Preston North End and Aston Villa, but Sanchez - who missed the draw with Manchester City last weekend due to a personal matter - is now available for selection again.

The Spaniard's contract at Stamford Bridge runs until the summer of 2030, but according to Football Insider, Chelsea will not turn down suitable bids for his services in the upcoming transfer window.

The report claims that the Blues do not view Sanchez as a long-term number one and will be pursuing a new first-choice stopper this summer, having not managed to strengthen their goalkeeping department in January.

It is unclear which goalkeepers Chelsea plan to target ahead of the 2024-25 campaign, but the Blues were linked with the likes of AC Milan's Mike Maignan and Borussia Dortmund's Gregor Kobel last summer.

Valencia's Giorgi Mamardashvili is also believed to have caught the eye of Chelsea scouts, as has Sunderland's Anthony Patterson and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsdale, who has been relegated to second choice at the Emirates behind David Raya.

Aaron Ramsdale in action for Arsenal on December 12, 2023© Reuters

Ramsdale was strongly linked with a move away from North London in the January window with Euro 2024 in mind, with Chelsea and Bayern Munich said to have been prepared to go head-to-head for his signature.

Arsenal were not prepared to part ways with Ramsdale midway through the campaign, but the 25-year-old will likely seek out new opportunities in the summer, when Arsenal are expected to convert Raya's loan into a permanent deal.

Chelsea must first resolve the future of one of their on-loan goalkeepers, though, as Kepa Arrizabalaga - who joined Real Madrid in the summer to cover for ACL victim Thibaut Courtois - has lost his place in Carlo Ancelotti's first XI.

The Belgian has seven clean sheets to show from 18 matches in a Real Madrid jersey but has not played for the La Liga leaders since January 21, warming the bench for their last six fixtures as Andriy Lunin guards the posts.

Kepa is still thought to want a permanent move to Los Blancos, but Ancelotti's side do not possess an option or obligation to buy him from Chelsea, where his contract runs until 2025.

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Real Madrid's Kepa Arrizabalaga in action on August 25, 2023
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