Chelsea close to signing goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli after he leaves Fulham

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<span>Photograph: Stephen Pond/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Chelsea are closing in on the signing of the goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli. The 29-year-old, a free agent after leaving Fulham, is expected to join the European champions on a two-year deal this week.

Chelsea need a new third-choice goalkeeper after the departure of Willy Caballero last month and Bettinelli is poised to provide competition for Édouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

 Related: Men’s transfer window summer 2021 – all deals from Europe’s top five leagues 

Bettinelli, who was also targeted by Aston Villa, rose through Fulham’s academy and made 120 appearances for the club, the first in 2014. He played a key role in Fulham winning promotion to the Premier League three years ago and was rewarded with a place in the England squad in September 2018.

However Bettinelli’s international aspirations were dented after he fell down the pecking order at Craven Cottage. He spent last season at Middlesbrough, who missed out on a Championship play-off spot, and has decided to seek a fresh challenge.

Chelsea are on the hunt for reinforcements in midfield and attack. Thomas Tuchel’s search for a striker has led to the manager targeting Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, Internazionale’s Romelu Lukaku and Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Chelsea are also monitoring the West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

Tuchel is also keen to increase his options on the right flank. The German was interested in signing Achraf Hakimi from Internazionale, only for Paris Saint-Germain to beat Chelsea to the signing of the Moroccan right-back.

Chelsea’s 18-year-old right-back Tino Livramento is expected to complete a move to Brighton soon.

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