Chelsea set to spend January focusing on signing Gianluigi Donnarumma

It’s fair to say that Chelsea’s £ 22million deal to sign Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was the biggest for the Blues this summer.

After a year of watching Kepa Arrizabalaga and screaming into the void, fans needed something new in the goal, and Mendy provided a breath of fresh air. It came in and instantly added solidity to the back. However, a few lapses in focus showed that Mendy might never achieve elite status.

Having a reliable goalkeeper means Chelsea now have a solid foundation to build on, and the next step for the Blues is to bring in a real top scorer like Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Gianluigi Donnarumma
Donnarumma is on Chelsea’s radar | Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images

90 mins revealed in early December that Chelsea had discussed with agent Mino Raiola a possible deal for his Donnarumma and Milan team-mate Alessio Romagnoli, the goalkeeper ahead of negotiations due to his contract expiring.

It’s not hard to see why Chelsea are interested in Donnarumma. He’s an elite goalie who seems to be hiding the Fountain of Youth somewhere in his house. It’s hard to understand how he’s still only 21 and yet has almost 200 appearances for one of Europe’s biggest names.

He has well and truly lived up to his potential, and there is even more to come from the Italian. He looks set to be a bona fide star for the best part of 15 years, and Chelsea have to be everywhere.

Sure, Mendy is a good goalkeeper, but he’s not good enough (or young enough) to stop Chelsea from looking for improvements. Les Bleus are on a quest to become the best team in Europe again, and to achieve this they need someone as good as Donnarumma between the sticks.

Edouard Mendy
Mendy helped mend leaking Chelsea defense | Catherine Ivill / Getty Images

Every top team needs an elite goalkeeper – an Alisson, Ederson or Manuel Neuer – and Chelsea don’t have that. They do not have really had this since the release of Petr Cech, even if the polarizing Thibaut Courtois was not far away.

Cech’s departure kicked off a period in which Chelsea flattered to cheat. There have been many great moments and many terrible ones, and Lampard is working hard to try to end this inconsistency.

With Cech now by his side at board level, Lampard helped Chelsea prepare for the future with signings like Havertz and Werner – players capable of shining for the next decade – but Mendy was more of an option to short term. Chelsea needed a good goalkeeper and couldn’t really afford to be picky.

Mendy has done his job admirably, but is he the long-term goalie of the future? It’s hard to definitely say no, but there is a feeling that Chelsea could still improve, and Donnarumma is exactly that.

Players of his caliber and age don’t often enter the free agent market. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Blues, whose hectic summer means they have very little on the agenda in January.

A defensive midfielder and a reserve winger are both expected to be found, but Chelsea must focus on Donnarumma, who could single-handedly bring the team back to the top of the mountain next season.

It’s a rare opportunity for Chelsea, and director Marina Granovskaia knows it. The “Iron Lady” isn’t usually one to shy away from this sort of deal, and with Lampard in her ear, the focus should be on getting a deal with Donnarumma in January.

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