Chelsea are reportedly tracking 20-year-old Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, with a view of making a concrete approach over a transfer.
According to Simon Phillips, as relayed by Sports Illustrated, Chelsea are keeping tabs on Republic of Ireland international Gavin Bazunu. The west Londoners are monitoring his development at Southampton, intending to make a future approach. Any potential deal could be complex, considering Manchester City have a buy-back clause in his contract.
Chelsea came out of a troubled period before the season began and have been creating waves of late. The Blues, marshalled by new owner Todd Boehly, have laid out plans for an exciting project. Their goal is to create a competitive, attractive team from all angles, and they are only getting started.
Signings like Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana highlighted their ambition. But Boehly also wants to focus on building a squad for the future. Additional signings like Carney Chukwuemeka and Omari Hutchison, alongside handing the contract extension for Armando Broja highlight their plan.
Chelsea are now looking at Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu as a potential target as they look to revamp the position. In his early days, new manager Graham Potter has indicated who is the preferred first-choice goalkeeper. Edouard Mendy, who was the clear choice under former boss Thomas Tuchel, is resigned to bench duties.
Instead, Kepa Arrizabalaga has re-established himself as the No.1, and the Spaniard will likely remain the top choice. Chelsea could be open to offloading Mendy if an offer arrives. And they will then seek a replacement. Bazunu may prove the ideal player, but things are a bit complicated with a potential transfer.
Chelsea are close to appointing Joe Shields as their new head of recruitment from Southampton. While the executive continues to remain under the payroll of the south coast club, he might look to bring in players he knows well. Those include Bazunu and Romeo Lavia.
The duo and others were all signed from Manchester City in the summer, where Shields worked for many years before joining Southampton. Shields recruited Bazunu as a teenager at the Etihad. The idea of bringing him across the Premier League indicates his liking of the 20-year-old goalkeeper.
But things can get complicated with a transfer, as Manchester City have a buy-back clause inserted in Bazunu’s contract. The Citizens could have the first refusal over any other deal. Bazunu will know the difficulties in breaking into the Manchester City side, so he could prefer to stay put or move to Chelsea if an offer arrives.
He could be a viable competitor for Kepa and possibly be a long-term successor to the Spaniard. Southampton could also make a massive profit on their £12.5 million investment in the 20-year-old goalkeeper by selling him to their fellow Premier League club.