• Transfer news

Report: Chelsea close to making first signing of the summer

Getty Images

The European champions are reportedly on the verge of completing a deal to sign a new goalkeeper as a replacement for Willy Caballero.

Former Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli is close to joining Chelsea as the club’s first signing of the summer.

The 29-year-old is available as a free agent after his contract at Fulham expired on July 1. He made 120 first-team appearances for the Cottagers, keeping 31 clean sheets and conceding 159 goals after graduating in 2012.

According to The Guardian, Bettinelli could join Chelsea this week on a two-year deal. The former England U-21 international will replace the departed Willy Caballero as the Blues’ third-choice keeper behind Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Bettinelli will hope to make his mark at Stamford Bridge after a hard spell at Fulham. Despite being an academy graduate, and helping the club win promotion back to the Premier League in 2018, he struggled for regular opportunities. Last season saw him leave Craven Cottage on loan for the third time at Middlesbrough, who finished in 10th-place in the Championship.

Bettinelli has also spent time out on loan at Dartford and Accrington Stanley in the lower English tiers.

What else is on the agenda for Chelsea?

With three goalkeepers ready for the new season, Thomas Tuchel now turns his attention to other targets.

The Chelsea boss is on the hunt for a new striker this summer. With Olivier Giroud off to AC Milan, Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham struggling to supply the goals, Tuchel wants a proven scorer. The name on everybody’s list, of course, is Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.

Reports have also linked the club with Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), and Sasa Kalajdzic (Stuttgart).

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is another potential target on Tuchel’s list following his impressive displays in the Premier League and for England in Euro 2020.