Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is expected to complete his move to Chelsea from Rennes on Tuesday, Frank Lampard has confirmed.
The 28-year-old was undergoing a medical with the west London club on Tuesday, with Blues boss Lampard indicating the deal should be completed shortly afterwards.
Mendy’s arrival will provide competition for Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has struggled for form and confidence.
The 6ft 6in stopper will join Chelsea in a deal reaching £20million, the PA news agency understands, with the Blues’ summer spending on the verge of topping £220million.
“Mendy’s having a medical as we speak, so, subject to that being OK, later on he’ll become our player at that point,” Lampard said.
“With Mendy coming in, it’s more competition, so every reaction will have to be positive around that from Kepa.
“Mendy as he comes in himself will push to try and play in this team, we know that.
“We know the standards that are required from a goalkeeper in this team, so we have to push for that.”
Mendy will become manager Lampard’s seventh senior signing of a hectic summer, with Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr having already come through the Stamford Bridge doors.
Lampard expects Mendy to be available for selection straight away and not to have to quarantine, leaving the possibility open for a Premier League debut at West Brom on Saturday.
“As far as I’m aware, he’s having his test now, and he will be tested with us collectively on Thursday,” Lampard said.
“And all being well with the tests being negative he’ll be ready to play.”
Kepa produced his latest pivotal mistake in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League, and Mendy’s arrival will put the £72million Spain international’s regular place under great pressure.
Lampard confirmed technical director Petr Cech had influenced Mendy’s signing, given the ex-Chelsea stopper’s specific goalkeeping knowledge.
“Petr was important in that because goalkeeper is a very particular position and Petr Cech obviously knows that role very well,” Lampard said.
“And Petr will obviously have a big say in this situation from my point of view, and I lean heavily on him. So he was very influential.”
Challenging Kepa to react positively to Mendy’s arrival, Lampard continued: “Football is always in your hands, in the current moment and going forward; so competition is important of course.
“We have brought Mendy in to bring that competition. We know it’s an area that Kepa himself wants to improve in his own performance.
“So it’s in everybody’s hands in the squad to push, to train, to have the right attitude, to try to compete to get in the team.
“So that remains the same, so I’m not making any final statements at all at the minute – football’s not like that.
“I think goalkeeper is the hardest position, because of the individual nature of it, because mistakes generally get punished with goals.
“That doesn’t happen necessarily in other parts of the pitch, so the eye can easily be drawn to that and I understand that.
“So I also have to be sympathetic to that point as a manager.
“Last year I changed the goalkeeper between Kepa and Willy (Caballero) a few times, and when I do it I do it with a different thought process from changing outfield players, because I understand the different elements to it.
“So I’m very aware of that. But at the same time we’re always striving for the best performance we can get, and that’s what we must continue to do.”
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