Chelsea settle on top choice for crucial replacement ahead of possible £35m exit

Chelsea could suffer a major blow this summer if Thibaut Courtois leaves, but it’s reported that Everton’s Jordan Pickford is now their priority to replace him.

The Belgian international has established himself as one of the top goalkeepers in Europe with his consistency and ability to pull off important saves.

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That has played its part in Chelsea’s haul of two Premier League trophies in recent years, but as per The Daily Star, Courtois has been linked with a £35m move to Real Madrid this summer.

Should he depart, that will leave a major void between the posts for the Blues, with Maurizio Sarri seeing Rob Green arrive this week but the veteran will surely be seen as nothing more than cover and quality competition moving forward.

In turn, a new No.1 goalkeeper will be needed at Stamford Bridge before the end of the transfer window if Courtois leaves, and as per Sky Sports, Pickford has seemingly emerged as Chelsea’s preferred target to provide the solution to their potential problem.

The 24-year-old enjoyed an impressive debut season with the Toffees last year, while his stock rose further with a string of impressive performances for England at the World Cup earlier this summer.

With that in mind, it remains to be seen what kind of transfer fee he is likely to command, and whether or not Chelsea are capable of matching Everton’s valuation with the report devoid of any significant details given it’s seemingly so early in the pursuit.

It’s an important summer for Chelsea with Sarri now at the helm, as the Italian tactician will be looking to transform the way in which they play given his more expansive style compared to that of predecessor Antonio Conte.

Pickford has plenty of technical quality and confidence on the ball, and so perhaps aside from his goalkeeping skills, his ability to play out from the back could also be a fundamental factor in why Chelsea have reportedly identified him as a top target.

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