Chelsea are considering a move for Porto’s Diogo Costa to bolster their goalkeeping ranks ahead of Edouard Mendy’s impending exit, according to reports.
The west London club have been working on a number of transfers with Saudi Pro League teams as the Blues seek to balance their books ahead of June 30.
Since last year’s May takeover, Chelsea’s new ownership has spent over £600million on new players and desperately need to trim their bloated squad not only to ensure harmony in the dressing room, but to boost their coffers as they prepare for more market activity.
Mendy, who signed for Chelsea in 2020, played a transformative role in the side upon his arrival at Stamford Bridge, winning the Champions League, the Club World Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup within his first 18 months at the club.
But the 2022-23 campaign saw Mendy struggle with persistent injury and lose his No 1 jersey to Chelsea’s former record-breaking signing Kepa Arrizabalaga.
As per Portuguese site Record, Costa will not be viewed as the immediate first choice keeper, but could be brought in to provide competition for the shirt.
The 23-year-old is one of the most promising European prospects in the position, and at the end of the last campaign was voted Goalkeeper of the Year by the Portuguese top flight.
In his 33 league appearances, Costa kept 16 clean sheets, handing his side the second-best defensive record in the competition.
Costa’s manager, Jorge Mendes, is believed to be spearheading the deal due to his strong relationship with the club that has brought players such as Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Joao Felix, and Radamel Falcao to Stamford Bridge.
The goalkeeper had previously attracted interest from Manchester United, but Red Devils are thought to be reluctant to pay Costa’s £65m release clause – which Chelsea are reportedly not.
Mendy is thought to have a deal in place with Al-Ahli, one of the four clubs majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Eyebrows have been raised over the number of proposed deals in the offing between Chelsea and the top four clubs in the league due to Chelsea’s majority shareholders Clearlake Capital’s business ties to the sovereign wealth fund.
Clearlake Capital manages billions of pounds for the PIF, whose clubs Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad, Al-Hilal, and Al-Ahli are keen to seal moves for N’Golo Kante, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hakim Ziyech, and Kalidou Koulibaly as well as Mendy.
Chelsea’s desperation to offload their players to avoid being in controvention of Financial Fair Play regulation has also been noted by supporters sceptical of the deals.
The Blues had previously considered a deal with Inter to bring Andre Onana to the Premier League, but their interest is believed to have cooled somewhat after their opening offer of £40m was rejected by the Champions League finalist.