Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola could be set for a switch to the Premier League with reigning champions Chelsea.
That is according to the Sun, who have alleged that the Blues have earmarked the 24-year-old as their new number two following the departure of Asmir Begovic to Bournemouth on Tuesday.
Antonio Conte is eager to provide stern competition for current number one Thibaut Courtois after Begovic completed a move away from Stamford Bridge, and the Italian is reportedly weighing up whether Areola could be the man to replace his departed shot stopper for the 2017/18 campaign.
Areola is contracted to PSG until the summer of 2019, and would therefore not come cheap if Conte pressed ahead with plans to lure him across the English channel to the capital.
The 24-year-old has been in and out of PSG’s starting lineup throughout this term, and lost his starting berth in the league to fellow keeper Kevin Trapp from 10th February after some inconsistent performances in Ligue 1.
Areola, however, still managed to make 27 appearances in all competitions for Unai Emery’s men – including being the club’s number one choice for the Coupe de France and Champions League group stages – and would need to decide whether a move to Stamford Bridge would see his game time reduced even further than what he put under his belt in 16/17.
Chelsea already have Portuguese custodian Eduardo as another backup option to Courtois, but the 34-year-old is only viewed as a last resort for Conte if either of his other goalkeeping choices are injured or suspended.
Areola faced stern criticism from PSG fans back in February after he almost cost the French giants victory in their eventual 2-1 win over Lille as they pursued eventual champions Monaco in the race for the title, and it may be remiss of Conte to decide to bring in a keeper that may not inspire confidence in Chelsea’s defence if he was forced to replace Courtois for any length of time.
Areola, who is a youth product of PSG’s academy, has made 31 appearances for the club’s first-team but also has extensive senior experience from loan spells with Lens and Bastia in his homeland as well as time with Villarreal in La Liga.
Read more from Tom Power by following him on Twitter!