Chelsea are closing in on the signing of the goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli. The 29-year-old, a free agent after leaving Fulham, is expected to join the European champions on a two-year deal this week.
Chelsea need a new third-choice goalkeeper after the departure of Willy Caballero last month and Bettinelli is set to provide competition for Édouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Bettinelli, who was also targeted by Aston Villa, rose through Fulham’s academy and made 120 appearances for the club, the first in 2014. He played a key role in Fulham winning promotion to the Premier League three years ago and was rewarded with a place in the England squad in September 2018.
However Bettinelli’s international aspirations suffered a dent after he fell down the pecking order at Craven Cottage. He spent last season at Middlesbrough, who missed out on a Championship play-off spot, and has decided to seek a fresh challenge.
Chelsea are on the hunt for reinforcements in midfield and attack. Thomas Tuchel’s search for a striker has seen the manager target Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, Internazionale’s Romelu Lukaku and Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Chelsea are also monitoring the West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.
Tuchel is also keen to increase his options on the right flank. The German was interested in signing Achraf Hakimi from Inter, only for Paris Saint-Germain to beat Chelsea to the signing of the Moroccan right-back.
Chelsea’s 18-year-old right-back Tino Livramento is expected to complete a move to Brighton soon.