Roman Abramovich wants Kepa sold after Cup final incident


As per a report from Spanish outlet El Confidencial, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is intent on parting ways with Kepa Arrizabalaga, following the Blues’ shot-stopper’s widely-scrutinized antics during the closing minutes of last month’s League Cup final.

Chelsea vs Man City

Chelsea went head to head with Premier League champions Manchester City in the final of the EFL Cup two weekends ago.

Maurizio Sarri’s men headed into the matchup as major underdogs, having fallen to 3 defeats in their preceding 6 outings across all competitions, one of which came in the form of a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of City.

Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring his team’s fifth goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola’s Citizens, on the other hand, had been in characteristically-sumptuous form ahead of the Wembley showdown, on the back of 13 wins from their previous 14 fixtures.

City retain their crown

As a result, it came as something of a surprise when Chelsea matched the Premier League champions punch-for-punch, in a largely-even contest in London.

The capital giants showcased a new-found resoluteness to knock back wave after wave of City attacks, with Sarri’s underdogs having also looked extremely dangerous on the break through the irrepressible Eden Hazard.

In the end, however, 120 minutes of football saw both sides fail to find an all-important goal, sending the clash to a penalty shootout.

And, after a nail-biting test of nerves, it was holders City who emerged victorious, with Raheem Sterling’s confidently-dispatched final spot-kick having sealed a 4-3 shootout win.

Kepa vs Sarri

However, the penalties themselves only told half of the story.

The main talking point surrounding the clash as a whole came with minutes remaining in extra-time, when Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga went to ground in discomfort for a second time.

The Spaniard’s problem saw Maurizio Sarri call for Blues’ no.2 Willy Caballero, a spot-kick specialist, to replace Kepa, ahead of the imminent penalty shootout.

Incredibly, though, Kepa refused to leave the pitch, sparking a heated exchange which eventually saw Sarri concede defeat in his attempts to make the change:

‘A big misunderstanding’

Kepa was subsequently slammed by fans and pundits alike for his show of disrespect towards Sarri, though the Chelsea boss himself was quick to leap to the defence of his shot-stopper in the aftermath of his side’s defeat at Wembley:

Kepa on the way out?

As per the aforementioned report from El Confidencial this afternoon, though, Roman Abramovich has not been so forgiving.

In fact, it is claimed that the Chelsea owner has already begun the search for a potential replacement for Kepa.

Abramovich is said to have been left fuming with the Spanish shot-stopper’s behaviour versus City, with the Russian billionaire ready to part ways with his side’s no.1.

The one major sticking point highlighted by El Confidencial in Abramovich’s hopes of reaching an agreement with another club over Kepa’s sale, though, is of course the 24-year-old’s price-tag.

Chelsea splashed out a massive 80 million Euro on Kepa’s signature just last summer, and would no doubt hope to recoup a large percentage of this fee in the case of his sale.

As such, for this, and a multitude of other reasons, a transfer actually coming to fruition appears highly unlikely.

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