10:45am: Blues set to complete first signing in ‘next 48 hours’ after reaching agreement with player

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea search for a third goalkeeper appears to be over, with free agent Marcus Bettinelli set to sign within “the next 48 hours” after rejecting interest from Aston Villa.

The 29-year-old was first rumored to be under consideration for that role last week, though he has been on our radar for quite some time, getting linked in 2015 (Čech replacement) as well as 2017 (Begović replacement).

If he signs, he will be expected to compete with Kepa Arrizabalaga for the backup job behind Édouard Mendy — a role that was vacated when young Jamie Cumming’s loan to Gillingham was confirmed yesterday. (And Petr Čech can re-retire in peace.)

South London-born Bettinelli won’t be moving very far if this move does come to fruition, having spent his entire career to this point at Fulham just a few miles down the road — though last season he was out on loan at Middlesbrough, where he made 28 appearances. Bettinelli counts as homegrown, which would be a bonus.

Chelsea are signing Marcus Bettinelli on a free transfer to replace Willy Caballero. Everything agreed, should be completed in next couple of days. https://t.co/B5R3N7CmG8

— Sami Mokbel (@SamiMokbel81_DM) July 27, 2021