Chelsea have reportedly received a formal proposal for Kepa Arrizabalaga from Lazio as Maurizio Sarri eyes a reunion with the Spanish international.
According to a report from Spanish publication Fichajes, Chelsea have been approached by Serie A giants Lazio over the prospect of signing 27-year-old goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Spanish shot-stopper arrived at Chelsea during the summer of 2018 from Athletic Bilbao for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper. However, his time with the club has not been easy. Arrizabalaga was involved in the infamous on-field spat with then-manager Maurizio Sarri in his debut season in England.
Following that, a series of inconsistent displays in his second season led to then-manager Frank Lampard axing him in favour of veteran Willy Caballero. The Blues even went on to replace the ex-Athletic star as the first-choice custodian last year, when they signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes.
Having been isolated completely under Lampard, Kepa did find some favour under Thomas Tuchel this year. In fact, the Spaniard seems to have found his confidence back as well, as was seen in his penalty shootout heroics in the UEFA Super Cup win against Villarreal. However, he continues to remain the backup goalkeeper with no meaningful game-time.
With this being a World Cup season, it is imperative that Kepa gets regular playing time in order for him to be in contention for the Spanish national team, which could lead to him considering an exit from Stamford Bridge. While Barcelona have been credited with a surprise interest in his services, the 27-year-old is now said to be courted by Lazio as well.
Under the management of Sarri, the Biancocelesti had been linked with a move for Kepa during the summer but a transfer did not materialise. However, it seems like they continue to hold an interest in the Chelsea star, with Sarri himself said to be pushing for his signing.
A move for Kepa would make sense for Lazio as well, considering that their current first-choice goalkeeper, Thomas Strakosha, sees his contract with the club run out at the end of the season. To that end, the Serie A bigwigs are said to have made a formal proposal for the Chelsea shot-stopper.
However, finances could become an issue for Lazio considering as Kepa is contracted with Chelsea till the summer of 2025. Considering the massive investment they made in him, the Blues would want to recoup a significant sum from his sale. It will, thus, be interesting to see if Sarri and Kepa end up reuniting at Lazio next year.