Birmingham City have made a swift start to their transfer business this summer as manager Lee Bowyer looks to assemble a squad which is capable of achieving a relative amount of success in the Championship later this year.
Set to face Sheffield United on the opening weekend of the 2021/22 Championship season next month, it will be intriguing to see how many of the Blues’ new arrivals feature in this particular clash.
Jordan Graham, Tahith Chong, Ryan Woods, Juan Familia-Castillo and Chuks Aneke will all be pushing for a start at Bramall Lane.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether goalkeeper Neil Etheridge will be fit enough to start against the Blades as he was only released from hospital today after a bout of illness.
Although Birmingham are currently able to call upon the services of Etheridge and Connal Trueman, Bowyer may be tempted to bolster his options in this particular position.
A recent report by The Sun journalist Alan Nixon suggested that the Blues were holding talks with Marcus Bettinelli over a potential switch.
The shot-stopper is currently a free-agent following Fulham’s decision to release him earlier this year.
Loaned out by the Cottagers during the previous campaign to Middlesbrough, Bettinelli emerged as a key player for Neil Warnock’s side as he kept 13 clean-sheets in 41 appearances.
With Boro deciding to draft in Joe Lumley as Bettinelli’s successor, the 29-year-old remains on the lookout for a new club.
In a fresh update concerning the keeper’s future, a Premier League side have now seemingly entered the hunt for his signature.
According to The Athletic, Chelsea are reportedly interested in making a potential swoop for Bettinelli.
Whilst it is extremely unlikely that the keeper will be able to challenge Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga for a place in Thomas Tuchel’s starting eleven, he may be signed as a replacement for Willy Caballero who was the club’s third-choice shot-stopper last season.
GIVEMESPORT’s Joshua Cole says…
This update could potentially be a major setback for Birmingham as they may find it difficult to compete with Chelsea in this particular transfer race.
Tuchel’s side will almost certainly be able to hand him a better financial package compared to Birmingham who have only just had a transfer embargo lifted by the EFL.
If Bowyer is considering a swoop for the keeper, he may need to make assurances in terms of game-time in order to convince him to make the move to St Andrew’s.
However, when you consider that Etheridge averaged a better WhoScored match rating (6.53) than Bettinelli (6.25) in the Championship last season, there is no guarantee that the former Fulham man would be an upgrade and thus Birmingham may not necessarily regret missing out on Bettinelli if Chelsea swoop in.
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