Valencia circle as Chelsea star Kepa tipped to return to Spain

Reports in the Spanish media suggest that Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could swap London for a return to his home country this summer.

Kepa’s struggles

One of the major talking points surrounding Chelsea in the weeks leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak was the situation between the posts at Stamford Bridge.

Up until February, Spanish shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga had stood as the Blues’ undisputed first-choice.

Having begun to justify his hefty price-tag with a string of superb displays towards the end of the 2018/19 campaign, Kepa was expected to kick on and stake his claim as one of world football’s finest goalkeepers this season.

However, this has since proven far from the case.

The 25-year-old, particularly over recent months, slipped into a major slump, which even resulted in him losing his place in Chelsea’s starting XI to veteran Willy Caballero for several weeks.

In fact, as of January, the former Athletic Bilbao man was the owner of the worst save percentage of any Premier League goalkeeper this season.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 22: Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea tries to shield the ball so that Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga can gather the ball during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Valencia switch?

Kepa’s struggles, meanwhile, have inevitably seen speculation begin to circulate that he could be on the move this summer.

Reports in the English media have suggested that the 25-year-old himself is ready to push for a Blues exit, while Spanish outlets have hinted at his potential inclusion in a swap deal involving Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.

And, as outlined above, the latest rumours stemming from Kepa’s home country this week have revealed a new potential landing spot for the shot-stopper.

The outfit in question? Valencia.

Sport assure that Kepa departing Stamford Bridge this summer is a very real possibility, with Los Che said to be keen on his signature.

Jasper Cillessen’s future at the Mestalla looks altogether uncertain as things stand, meaning reinforcements between the posts may well be required ahead of next season.

And Kepa is seemingly viewed as the ideal target by Valencia, with the former Bilbao man’s recent struggles, coupled with the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, meaning a bargain deal could be on the cards over the coming months.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.