According to Sky Sources, Chelsea have made Jordan Pickford their primary target if Thibaut Courtois does leave for Real Madrid. It remains to be seen whether or not Courtois, currently in the last 12 months of his contract, will leave London this summer, but SkyBet are giving odds of just 1/4 that the Belgian stopper will join Los Blancos this summer. His refusal to pen a new deal at Stamford Bridge and the lack of Champions League football this season point to a likely exit from the club. It feels like dozens of goalkeepers have been linked with a move a Chelsea, including the likes of Kasper Schmeichel and Jack Butland. However, following the Everton goalkeeper’s excellent heroics for England at the World Cup, the former Sunderland man has been earmarked as Chelsea’s top target.
It was believed that Liverpool’s newest signing, Alisson, was new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s first choice to replace Courtois but the Reds worked quickly to secure Brazil’s number one, ultimately scuppering Sarri’s plans. As a result, his attention has subsequently turned to Pickford who was Everton’s 2017/18 Player of the Season. He has received many plaudits thanks to his outstanding shot-stopping ability, whilst his distribution is second-to-none in the Premier League.
Following his £30 million move from Sunderland just last summer, it would take a huge bid from Chelsea to make Everton even consider selling their star man. It seems unlikely that the Toffee’s would be tempted to sell given Pickford’s vast improvement over the past 12 months. Given the current market and going rate for goalkeepers at the moment, Chelsea would likely have to offer a fee upwards of £50 million in order to secure the Englishman’s services.
Chelsea did sign veteran goalkeeper Rob Green earlier this week on a free transfer, but it is laughable to suggest that he has been bought as a direct replacement for Courtois. The goalkeeper transfer merry-go-round has been a highlight of this summer’s transfer window, with seemingly every club on the lookout for a new man between the sticks. One thing to be certain of is that should Pickford follow his former teammate Ross Barkley in moving to Chelsea, Everton will be the next team in the market for a new goalkeeper.