Chelsea are closing in on a deal for Edouard Mendy with the Rennes goalkeeper skipping training with his club on Friday and having been left out of the team that will face Nimes.
The west London club are working to secure a deal believed to be worth around £25million for Mendy, with Frank Lampard having targeted a new shot-stopper after becoming concerned by the performances of world’s most expensive keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Mendy has reportedly already agreed terms on a five-year deal with Chelsea, though the clubs have been at loggerheads over a fee.
An agreement may finally have been reached, though, with French TV station TVR showing footage of Mendy leaving training on Friday alongside his agent.
The 28-year-old goalkeeper took no part in training and his deputy, Romain Salin, will instead be between the sticks when Rennes get their Ligue 1 campaign under way against Nimes on Sunday.
Chelsea had originally wanted to pay around £18m for Mendy but, according to Fabrizio Romano, have submitted a fresh offer that is closer to Rennes’ £25m asking price.
The Blues are confident the proposal will be accepted and hope to wrap up the deal very quickly, having already agreed personal terms with Mendy.
The final decision over whether to accept the bid now lies with Rennes president Nicolas Holveck, who had previously suggested the two clubs were a long way apart in their respective valuations of Mendy.
Should Chelsea get the deal over the line, he will be their sixth major new first-team addition of the summer joining Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva.
Although Chelsea would ideally like to have found a buyer for Kepa – no club came close to offering a suitable fee – the Spaniard is set to remain at Stamford Bridge and fight for his place, starting against Brighton on Monday night.