Chelsea eyeing move for highly-rated Ajax star

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Chelsea were humiliated at the weekend.

Frank Lampard’s side had appeared nailed on to finish in the top four and seal qualification for the Champions League in the process.

However, the Blues were well-beaten by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, losing 3-0 to Chris Wilder’s Blades.

It means that Chelsea are now just two points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, five clear of sixth-placed Wolves and just six clear of the Blades.

The top-four race, then, is wide open, and the Blues face a difficult run-in for the remainder of the season.

They play already-relegated Norwich City later this week, before taking on champions Liverpool and in-form Wolves on the final day.

Lampard’s men have leaked goals in recent weeks, conceding eight goals in four games, and The Athletic’s David Ornstein now reports that the former England midfielder is lining up a move for a goalkeeper in the summer transfer window.

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Kepa Arrizabalaga has struggled throughout the season, conceding 53 goals, and Ornstein reports that Ajax’s Andre Onana has been identified as a possible replacement.

The 24-year-old has made 178 appearances for Ajax in total and the report states that he would be available for €30 million (£26.8m) in the summer transfer window.

That is a hugely different fee to the one paid to Athletic Bilbao when Chelsea signed Kepa; they splashed £71m on him, making him the most expensive goalkeeper in history in the process.

Chelsea and Ajax have been involved in discussions over a transfer alrready this year, as the Blues took Hakim Ziyech to Stamford Bridge, and Onana is said to be open to a move to England.

It remains to be seen, though, if Chelsea will be able to move Kepa on in this window, given the large fee they paid to sign him.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Kepa’s career at Chelsea may well be over.

The Athletic also reports that Lampard is a keen admirer of Dean Henderson, who has been on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United, and it appears that the Blues are ready to give up on the Spaniard.

That Lampard is casting his net so far and so wide suggests that he wants a new goalkeeper in place by the start of next season.

And a move for Onana would make all the sense in the world.

He is an agile, athletic presence between the sticks, and is a young, exciting prospect. He turned 24 in April.

Kepa, it seems, has wasted his chance to become the club’s out-and-out No.1 for years to come.

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