London (AFP)

Rennes goalkeeper Édouard Mendy (28) has signed a five-year contract with Chelsea, the two clubs announced Thursday, which should make the Senegalese international the most expensive goalkeeper in League history 1.

According to the press, the transfer would amount to 22 million pounds (24 million EUR), the highest amount in history for a goalkeeper from L1.

Mendy "will compete with Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero for the starting spot in goals in the coming season," Chelsea wrote in a statement.

25-year-old Kepa, who bought nearly 80 million euros from Athletic Bilbao two years ago, which is the highest amount ever spent on a goalkeeper, had a very complicated season last year .

With just 53.5% saved shots and a goal conceded every 63 minutes, he was among the worst goalkeepers in the Premier League, multiplying the blunders, even if he had not been helped by a very porous defense.

Since the season has resumed, he has further distinguished himself by taking a goal on a clearance intercepted by Sadio Mané during the defeat (2-0) against Liverpool.

- Atypical trajectory -

Willy Caballero, who will be 39 in four days, seems to be starting from further than Mendy and Kepa.

Mendy took advantage of the internal support of Petr Cech, who had made the same journey in 2004 for 13 million euros.

The Senegalese is a more comfortable goalkeeper in the air and far from his goal than Kepa, whose strengths are reflexes on his line and excellent kicking.

"I am very happy to join Chelsea, it is a dream for me to be part of this incredible squad and to work with (coach) Frank Lampard," said the goalkeeper, quoted in the club's statement.

A keeper with an atypical trajectory, since he had to wait until he was 24 to sign his first professional contract when he joined Reims in 2016, Mendy arrived in Rennes a year ago.

He played 34 games last season and greatly contributed to the Bretons' first qualification for the Champions League.

He is Chelsea's seventh signing who has spent more than EUR 250m this summer to strengthen themselves in hopes of competing against Liverpool and Manchester City in the title race.

© 2020 AFP