Chelsea 'expect to sign giant Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy' before making transfer swoop for Declan Rice or Soumare

CHELSEA are reportedly closing in on a deal for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

The Athletic claims Frank Lampard is also hopeful of bringing Declan Rice back to Chelsea despite already spending over £200million this summer.

The Blues boss has already lured Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz to Stamford Bridge.

But Lampard still wants to bring in a replacement for flop record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Mendy, 28, is seen as an ideal fit at 6ft 6in to sort out Chelsea’s aerial and set-piece problems.

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And the Blues are deep in negotiations with Rennes after having a £14m bid snubbed last week.

Chelsea had been linked with the likes of Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, Burnley’s Nick Pope and Ajax’s Andre Onana.

But if they fail to sign Mendy, Lampard could instead opt to promote academy star Nathan Baxter to his senior side.

Chelsea are actively trying to find a buyer for Kepa, who still has four years left on a £150,000-a-week contract.

But with the Blues looking to recoup around £50m of the £71.6m they paid Athletic Bilbao in 2018, there are yet to be any takers.

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And SunSport understands Kepa himself is eager to remain in the capital and prove his worth to Lampard.

Indeed, legendary Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech – now technical director at the club and leading the talks with former side Rennes for Mendy – insists Lampard still has faith in Kepa to come good.

Cech said: “Additions will be made to the squad, perhaps even in goal, and this is what is being discussed now.

“But nobody is giving up on Kepa and we all hope he has a great future.”


Meanwhile, defensive midfielder Rice remains a target for Lampard.

N’Golo Kante and Jorginho have both been linked with moves away.

And Rice, who left Chelsea for West Ham in 2014, has emerged as Lampard’s top choice for the anchorman role.

Chelsea are also thought to be keeping tabs on Lille ace Boubakary Soumare, with the French side prepared to sell for the right price after already offloading Gabriel Magalhaes to Arsenal and Victor Osimhen to Napoli for a combined £97m.

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