L’Équipe report that Chelsea and Rennes will end up agreeing to a deal of around €25m for the transfer of Senegalese goalkeeper Édouard Mendy after a protracted period of negotiations.
Yesterday, the 28-year-old said goodbye to his teammates, having been authorised by the Brittany side on Thursday to finalise contract negotiations with Chelsea, with whom he has a 5-year agreement with that is waiting and ready to be signed.
Negotiations were long and often tense between the two clubs. Rennes had a big English club that wanted a player who had two very strong Ligue 1 seasons under his belt, a very complete game and great mental strength. Mendy had become a central figure in the SRFC dressing room who they did not want to lose.
Mendy wanted the move from the first moment it became possible, it was simply too good an opportunity, he felt, to pass up on or even hesitate over – it has been his clear and obvious desire to move that convinced Chelsea to remain in talks, even when Rennes were seeking to be excessively creative in structuring a deal. Attempts included the insertion of Olivier Giroud and the loan of Fikayo Tomori plus cash in the agreement. In the end, it appears that the deal will be concluded for a figure of between €25m and €28m including bonuses. L’Équipe estimate that it will be around €25m.
Sources tell Get French Football News that Rennes have not entirely given up on doing a loan for Tomori, but if it happens, it will be part of a separate deal and negotiation.
This fee will be a record for a Ligue 1 goalkeeper, eclipsing the amount paid by Chelsea for Petr Cech in 2004 (€13m) and by Monaco for Benjamin Lecomte in 2019 (€13m).
SRFC paid just €5m for the player last summer, with Reims set to receive 15% of the sale price to Chelsea thanks to a sell-on percentage fee clause.