Chelsea have opened talks with Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda with a view to a summer move to Stamford Bridge. The French stopper is out-of-contract at the end of the month and has expressed interest to pursue a career outside his homeland.
According to the Guardian, the France international has been offered terms to join the Blues but is also considering offers from other clubs. Mandanda, who is currently with the French national team at the 2016 European Championships, is set to end his nine-year career with Marseille and has expressed his desire to move abroad.
"Abroad would be something good at 31," he said last month, as quoted by the Guardian.
Apart from Chelsea, the report says the goalkeeper has received offers from at least one other Ligue 1 club, while Everton have also monitored him in the past. The experienced campaigner will not be short of suitors when his contract comes to an end on 30 June.
The 31-year-old, who has been voted the best goalkeeper in the Ligue 1 four times, is wanted by the Premier League big guns as an understudy to first choice 'keeper Thibaut Courtois. His arrival is likely to speed up Asmir Begovic's departure, who was second choice to the Belgian last season.
The Bosnian was signed from Stoke City in an £8m ($11.3m) deal on a four-year contract last summer, but has grown frustrated at the lack of first-team opportunities and will seek a move away in search of regular first-team football. Crystal Palace, who are also aware of Mandanda's availability, are said to be pondering a possible move for Begovic, but the player's wages and the fee demanded by Chelsea will play a major role in the Eagles making a summer move for the stopper.