Saturday, August 20, 2022

Chelsea Handed Lifeline As Bayern Munich Keeper Holds Out For 5 Year Deal: Should The Blues Pounce?

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

According to a recent report by German publication Bild, Premier League giants Chelsea have been handed an unlikely lifeline in their bid to acquire Bayern Munich’s German international shot-stopper Manuel Neuer after the veteran refused to sign the contract that was offered to him. It has been claimed that the Bavarian club offered their man a new three-year deal, but that Neuer himself is holding out on a five-year one, that would see him remain at the club at least until he turns 39.

The report suggests that this impasse could come as good news for Chelsea, who are said to be considering Neuer as a genuine option, provided of course, that they’re able to get rid of Kepa Arrizabalagain the summer. It has also been suggested in the report that the German giants already have a deal in place for the services of Schalke shot-stopper Alexander Nubel, who is set to arrive next season. Bayern Munich are said to be wary of offering the German international a five-year deal as they fear it could keep Nubel on the bench for the entire duration.

Why Are Chelsea Looking To Replace Kepa This Summer?

The Spaniard arrived from Athletic Bilbao in the summer of 2018 with a monstrous price-tag already weighing him down. Despite starting his Stamford Bridge career in motivating style, over time the Spanish international’s fragilities began to rise to the surface. Although there was nothing wrong that season with his goalkeeping attributes themselves, the debacle that he caused in the Carabao Cup final penalty shootout is arguably what caused Maurizio Sarri to rethink his place in the side.

This season though, things began terribly for the Spaniard. Having conceded four goals against Manchester United, it wasn’t long before Frank Lampard realised that the former La Liga man just doesn’t make the cut to play for a club as grand as Chelsea. Upon realising this, the gaffer was quick to drop the keeper back down to the bench and promoted experienced custodian Willy Caballero into the first-team.

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – MARCH 03: Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Bayern celebrates after winning the DFB Cup quarterfinal match between FC Schalke 04 and FC Bayern Muenchen at Veltins Arena on March 03, 2020 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Gradually, it became evident that being dropped from the side had a positive impact on the former Athletic Bilbao man, as he began to work extra hard in training. The Spaniard earned his spot back from Caballero for the Blues’ important FA Cup fixture against Liverpool and showed himself in an excellent light. Having made a triple save in the first-half and ensured that the Reds didn’t beat him for the rest of the evening, Kepa regained his rightful spot in the side and even started in the comprehensive victory against Everton.

Should The Blues Spend Money On Neuer This Summer?

The German international has been one of the best keepers in the world for the longest time now, and it was him that motivated football pundits to coin the term ‘sweeper-keeper’. Adept at coming off his line and helping defenders out, the seven-time Bundesliga winner has achieved almost everything there is in the European game, including the Champions League and the World Cup.

With that said though, it must be considered that the Bayern Munich man is already 34. There’s no denying Kepa has a lot of developing to do, but the fact remains that at 25, he still has enough potential to develop into one of the best in the world. That’s a bet that Frank Lampard shouldn’t shy away from wagering on this summer.

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