Marcus Bettinelli has signed for Chelsea on a free transfer from Fulham on a two-year contract until June 2023.
Bettinelli will replace Willy Caballero as third-choice goalkeeper behind Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga, following the Argentinean’s departure at end of last season.
The English goalkeeper came through the youth ranks at Fulham after joining at the age of 14 and went on to make 120 senior appearances for the Whites, despite enduring loan spells away at Dartford and Accrington Stanley during his early years as a senior player.
Bettinelli however fell out of favour at Craven Cottage last season as Scott Parker favoured Alphonse Areola and Marek Rodak, with the 29 year-old instead loaned out to Middlesbrough where he made 39 appearances as Boro finished tenth in the Championship under Neil Warnock.
Having now signed for the reigning European champions on a two-year deal, Bettinelli said: “It’s always been a special club. I know the area very well so it’s been a dream of mine to come over to this side and it’s finally happened.”
Bettinelli also revealed that he nearly joined Chelsea a few years ago only for initial transfer negotiations between clubs to collapse, commenting: “There were some talks a few years ago when I was a bit younger and for whatever reason that didn’t come about but I’m here now.”
The former England U21s goalkeeper however is looking ahead and is “really excited” to get involved with the squad and try to force his way into starting contention as he faces Mendy and Arrizabalaga who are currently Thomas Tuchel’s preferred first-choice goalkeepers in all competitions.
During his time at Fulham, Bettinelli was twice part of Championship Play-Off winning teams after starting in Fulham’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa in 2017-18 Championship Play-Off Final, before being amongst substitutes in their 2-1 victory over Brentford in 2019-20 Championship Play-Off Final.