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Rennes goalkeeper Mendy on brink of Chelsea switch

Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is expected to complete his move to English Premier League giants Chelsea from Rennes on Tuesday (Sept 22), manager Frank Lampard has confirmed.

The 28-year-old was undergoing a medical with the London club, with Lampard indicating the deal should be completed shortly afterwards.

Mendy’s arrival will provide competition for Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has struggled for form and confidence.

The giant stopper will join Chelsea in a deal reaching a reported £20 million (S$35m), which would take the club’s spending in the summer transfer market to around £220m.

“Mendy’s having a medical as we speak, so, subject to that being OK, later on he’ll become our player at that point,” Lampard said.

“With Mendy coming in, it’s more competition, so every reaction will have to be positive around that from Kepa. Mendy as he comes in himself will push to try and play in this team, we know that.”

Mendy will become Lampard’s seventh senior signing, with Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr having already come through the Stamford Bridge doors.

Lampard expects Mendy to be available for selection straight away and not to have to quarantine, leaving the possibility open for a Premier League debut at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Arrizabalaga produced his latest pivotal mistake in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League, and Mendy’s arrival will put the £72m Spain international’s regular place under great pressure.

Lampard confirmed technical director Petr Cech had influenced Mendy’s signing, given the ex-Blues stopper’s specific goalkeeping knowledge.

Challenging Arrizabalaga to react positively to Mendy’s arrival, Lampard said: “It’s in everybody’s hands in the squad to push, to train, to have the right attitude, to try to compete to get in the team.

“So that remains the same, I’m not making any final statement at all at the minute – football’s not like that.” – AFP

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