Report: Chelsea agree to pay majority of player's salary to send him on loan

Chelsea and Napoli are close to reaching a full agreement on a potential loan deal for out-of-favour goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Gianluca di Marzio.

Since Edouard Mendy’s arrival, Arrizabalaga has played a backup goalkeeper role despite reportedly being one of the club’s top-earning players.

It seems unlikely that the 26-year-old will get ahead of Mendy in the pecking order anytime soon, and he is clearly too expensive for a backup goalkeeper.

Finding suitors who can afford Arrizabalaga’s wages proved challenging for Chelsea, but a loan deal could help reduce the club’s wage bills and generate interest in the player.

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According to Di Marzio, Napoli, who recently sold David Ospina, are currently in advanced negotiations with Chelsea over a loan deal for the Spain international.

The Italian transfer expert claims that Chelsea and Napoli have reached an agreement over the player’s salary payment, with the London club expected to pay three-quarters (75 percent) of his salary during the loan period.

Napoli would have to pay loan fees, obviously, and the two clubs have yet to agree on bonuses. Chelsea reportedly want two bonuses of €1.5million (£1.25m) in the deal.

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Di Marzio adds that Arrizabalaga’s agent is working to lower Chelsea’s demand, but “optimism is growing”.

Chelsea spent £71.6m, a record fee for a goalkeeper, to sign Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.

After two years as the first-choice goalkeeper, he lost his spot and made just 11 Premier League appearances in the last two seasons.

He is currently under contract at Chelsea until 2025.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.