Chelsea lining up move for possible Thibaut Courtois replacement

Chelsea are reportedly considering a move for Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, with Antonio Conte potentially preparing for Thibaut Courtois’s exit.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio travelled to London this past week as part of his trip to England to discuss moves for Manchester City pair Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta.

Having also stopped off in the English capital to discuss various matters, it is understood that he communicated the fact that Handanovic is valued at around €12m-€15m.

The Slovenian international made 38 appearances in all competitions for Roberto Mancini’s men this past season, conceding 37 goals while keeping 16 clean sheets.

In turn, the 31-year-old will not be interested in leaving the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza for a role on the bench, which is what would likely be facing him if he moved to Stamford Bridge and Courtois stayed.

As a result, it is assumed that the reported discussion took place with a view that the Belgian ace would be leaving the club this summer, and that would build on reports earlier this month that he had been left disappointed with Chelsea’s season this year and that in turn had raised doubts over his future.

Handanovic has a wealth of experience and is proven at the top level, so it comes as no surprise that Conte would be linked with making a move for him as he looks to stamp his mark at Chelsea ahead of next season.

Nevertheless, it would still be a blow to the club if they are in fact preparing for life without Courtois, although as noted by The Telegraph, further talks between the shot-stopper and Conte are planned.

Those discussions will likely result in an answer of whether or not the former Atletico Madrid star’s future lies in west London, and if not, then Handanovic could be Premier League bound this summer.

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