Chelsea signs goalkeeper Mendy after Kepa’s costly mistakes

Chelsea has signed goalkeeper Édouard Mendy to take its summer transfer window spending over $280 million, putting the future starting position of Kepa Arrizabalaga in doubt.

The 28-year-old Senegal international has joined from French side Rennes, the club said Thursday, for a reported fee of 22 million pounds ($27.75 million) on a five-year contract.

Kepa became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he was signed by Chelsea in 2018 for 80 million euros (then $93 million). But his errors in games have become increasingly costly for Chelsea — the latest in a 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the second match of the Premier League season on Sunday.

Mendy helped Rennes qualify for the Champions League for the first time for this season. Chelsea’s third goalkeeper is the 38-year-old Willy Caballero.

The signing of Mendy was overseen by Petr Cech, the former Chelsea goalkeeper turned technical director. Cech also joined Chelsea from Rennes, 16 years ago.

“As soon as Petr Cech and our technical team identified Édouard as the most suitable goalkeeper to complement our existing group, there was only one player we wanted to bring in,” Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said. “Édouard arrives following a season of real success with Rennes, he is ambitious for more, and we welcome him to our club.”

Another significant addition made by a Premier League club was Leeds signing Spain defender Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad for a reported 18 million pounds.

The 27-year-old Llorente agreed to a four-year contract to become the fourth major signing since Leeds returned to the top division after 16 years.

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