Chelsea FC Transfer Talk: Neuer, Onana, Kepa, Donnarumma

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Chelsea FC, along with the rest of most global football, are off indefinitely, so let’s do some transfer talk instead. If there’s one thing that can survive a global pandemic, it’s transfer rumors. Be sure to check out our all-transfer rumor Chelsea XI and our optimal Chelsea XI, a team with all main transfer targets acquired and key players retained.

With that in mind, let’s take a spin through the Blues related rumor mill, covering the three goalkeepers who have been tabbed as sought after acquistion candidates, and thus potential replacements for Kepa Arrizabalaga. All three of those shot-stoppers are in the news today.

As had been previously reported, the club is having some issues trying to stir up interest in Kepa, and naturally some of that is due to his falling so far out of favor at his current club. He’s also the most expensive goalie in history, at £72 million pounds, so a potentially hefty price tag is turning off potential suitors as well.

One top target for the Blues is Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, who has seen contract extension talks with his current club stall out. One reason for that could be the leaks to the press, but now the club thinks those will stop.

In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Club Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic said Bayern believe “the mole” has moved on now. Which is a very fun and intriguing remark, as it makes a transfer rumor sound like a James Bond style spy film!

He also believes Neuer will stay put.

“I am an optimist and therefore I hope that Manuel will extend his contract here,” Salihamidzic said. “I’d like to think the mole has moved on.”

The 34-year-old German international will see his current deal expire next summer.

Another target who could be staying put is AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, according to Italian outlet Tuttosport. Chelsea were said to be leading the race to sign him, but according to this narrative, he could renew his current deal instead.

Elsewhere, Ajax’s Andre Onana is reportedly a man in demand, and now it seems the Blues have even more competition. Sport reports that FC Barcelona are strongly interested in bringing back their former Cameroonian youth prospect. Beyond that, if Onana is to move away, their narrative holds that the Catalan club are leading the chase.

So at the end of the day, if none of these trio of targets will work out…what is Chelsea to do? Well, Football.London has a good post that spotlights a triad of candidates, all of the lower price variety, who could possibly step in, so we’ll see.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.com, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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