Chelsea Considering Andre Onana Bid if Kepa Can Be Sold This Summer

Dutch Toto KNVB Cup"FC Utrecht v Ajax Amsterdam"
Onana is a heavily reported Chelsea target | ANP Sport/Getty Images

Chelsea are reported to be considering an approach for Ajax keeper Andre Onana this summer if they receive any acceptable offers for Kepa Arrizabalaga, following a difficult season for the Spaniard.

Kepa unseated Alisson as the world's most expensive goalkeeper in August 2018 but despite showing some promise early on, the 25-year-old has endured a hard time of it in England. He's never been far from a costly error, and some highly questionable performances this season have compounded the Blues' defensive struggles.

Frank Lampard has been widely reported to be on the fence about the former Athletic Club stopper, who has maintained his place between the sticks for all but four Premier League matches this term. Recent reports have put them in the frame for Manchester United keeper Dean Henderson, who continues to impress on loan at Sheffield United, while they are thought to hold a longstanding interest in Ajax's Andre Onana.

Andre Onana, Kepa Arrizabalaga
Kepa greets Onana ahead of their Champions League clash | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

It's the latter who David Ornstein zeroes in on in his latest column for The Athletic. Ornstein notes that the Cameroon international has impressed in particular with his shot-stopping and composure with the ball at his feet, and is thought of as the primary target should Kepa depart.

Chelsea, it's said, have doubts over Kepa's future, but are equally uncertain about their ability to sell him this summer. They would ideally want to recoup the majority of his £72m transfer fee before recruiting a replacement, but that seems next to impossible, given his diminished standing and the current financial climate.

Spanish press discussed an ambitious three-way swap deal with Valencia, which would see Kepa return to Spain. Jasper Cillessen would in turn join Ajax, freeing up Onana to head to Stamford Bridge. It seems like a stretch, but some outside the box thinking may well be required if the Blues are to upgrade on Kepa in the months ahead.

If a straight cash deal could be done, Onana would reportedly be available for a fee in the region of £30m.

Speaking in April, when Barcelona were touted as his primary destination, Onana all-but admitted he will be leaving Amsterdam this summer.

"Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with Ajax and I am very grateful to the club," he said. "It was five great years here. But now my time has come to take a step. We made that decision last year. I do not yet know what will happen, but my ambitions and agreements are clear. ''

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