Chelsea have completed the signings of Willy Caballero and Ethan Ampadu, and are also closing on a £33.4million deal for Antonio Rudiger.
Having let Asmir Begovic join Bournemouth for £10million earlier this summer, Antonio Conte was in the market for a new back-up goalkeeper to Thibaut Courtois. And he has found his man in 35-year-old Argentine Caballero, who was released by Manchester City at the end of his contract, who has joined on a free transfer and will provide experienced cover.
“I am very happy to join Chelsea, the champions of England,” said Caballero, who played 47 times in all competitions for the Blues after joining from Malaga in 2014, and will most famously be remembered for his starring role in the League Cup success of 2016. “I am looking forward to meeting the guys and helping the club achieve more success in the coming season.”
Chelsea are in negotiations with Exeter City over a compensation fee after the champions lured Ampadu to Stamford Bridge. The 16-year-old made 13 appearances for the League Two side last season, and also trained with the full Wales squad prior to Euro 2016. It is understood a number of clubs were keen on the midfielder, who leaves St James’ Park with the club’s blessing.
“Everyone at Exeter City fully supports Ethan’s decision to sign for Chelsea,” Grecians manager Paul Tisdale said. “He had many options available to him and has decided that Chelsea provides him with the best opportunity to develop the next step of his career. We wish him the very best of luck. Ethan is another in a long line of home grown players to graduate through our academy.”
Meanwhile, Conte is also on the verge of strengthening his back four options with the addition of Rudiger. A £7.8million signing from Stuttgart in 2015, the German international played a key role for Roma last season as they pushed Juventus in the Serie A title race, and it is thought that Chelsea have negotiated a £33.4million deal for the defender, who will sign a five-year contract.
Rudiger will help replenish the champions’ defensive options, which have been depleted following the sale of Nathan Ake to Bournemouth for £20million, and the departure of club legend John Terry at the end of his contract. It remains to be seen if the signing of the 24-year-old will end their interest in Virgil van Dijk, the Southampton centre-half, who has also been on Conte’s radar.