Chelsea has agreed on a fee of around £22m ($29m) with Rennes for goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, according to Goal.com.
The 29-year-old has reached a verbal agreement on a five-year contract with the west Londoners and is set to complete the relevant paperwork and undergo a medical upon his arrival in the United Kingdom.
The Blues have been locked in talks all month after making their first approach, with the Ligue 1 side keen to secure a higher fee while also considering their options for a replacement.
Rennes asked for Fikayo Tomori on loan as part of the deal but the Blues have been reluctant to sanction his exit at this stage of the transfer window.
Chelsea’s technical and performance advisor Petr Cech was heavily involved in the recruitment process for a new goalkeeper, with his expertise having been considered.
The Blues’ head of the goalkeeper department Christophe Lollichon was also consulted in the move for Mendy, with both him and Cech having made the switch from Rennes to Chelsea in 2004.
Mendy spent just one season with Julien Stephan’s side, playing 34 games in their historic effort to earn qualification to the Champions League for the first time.
The move throws Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future into further doubt amid criticism over his form following his £72m ($92m) transfer from Athletic Club in 2018.
Chelsea will keep the Spain international to compete with Mendy, with Kepa proving too expensive for the likes of Sevilla and Valencia, who can’t afford his wages or a transfer fee.
Frank Lampard’s side has spent well over £200m ($252m) in the summer transfer window, having already added six players.
Kai Havertz moved from Bayer Leverkusen, while the Blues added two further attackers in Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.
Ben Chilwell was added to the defence, while there were a further two free transfers – defenders Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr, formerly of Paris Saint-Germain and Nice.
West Ham’s Declan Rice is another key target for Lampard but it remains unclear whether the England international is a viable option, with the Hammers very reluctant to sell a star player to a rival.
Meanwhile, Chelsea is aiming to offload more players before the transfer window closes on 5 October, with Lewis Baker having already joined Trabzonspor on loan with an option to buy.