Lazio have identified Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga as a possible transfer target as they prepare for the exit of veteran Pepe Reina.
Former Liverpool goalie Reina enjoyed an impressive first campaign at Lazio and has started all seven of the club’s Serie A games so far this season.
But, at the age of 39, Reina is certainly coming to the end of his outstanding career, with Lazio sporting director Igli Tare now preparing for life without the Spanish goalkeeper.
According to Corriere dello Sport, Lazio are considering a move for Kepa as they look for a new long-term goalkeeper, with Maurizio Sarri working with him while he was in charge at Chelsea.
Kepa became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when he joined Chelsea for £71m from Athletic Bilbao in 2018, but he has failed to justify his huge price-tag and endured a tough spell at the club.
The Spaniard made a number of mistakes while he was the club’s first choice and attracted criticism after defying Sarri during the 2019 EFL Cup final, refusing to be subbed off before the game went to penalties.
But Kepa and Sarri quickly put the incident to bed and he helped Chelsea finish that campaign by winning the Europa League. However, he has lost his No. 1 shirt to Edouard Mendy since he joined the Blues last year.
Kepa has only played two matches for Chelsea this season, featuring in the EFL Cup and once in the Premier League after Mendy was ruled out through injury.
Despite falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, Kepa has played a key role in Mendy’s impressive displays for the club, according to his fellow goalkeeper.
‘When you play for this kind of club, you will find big competition [for places], a big fight for playing,’ Mendy told Chelsea’s official website.
‘You can see it at Manchester City and at Liverpool – two good goalkeepers who are ready to play. So you have to be the best for yourself but for the team also because when the coach puts you on the pitch, you have to show why he called you.
‘Every time you have to show it, and you have to push each other at training. It’s competition and Kepa, me or Marcus [Bettinelli], we want to be the best for the team.’