Newspapers and outlets are struggling for their sporting fix and so the rumour mill has had a bit of a resurgence. The recent reports linking Nick Pope with a move to Chelsea seem to have very little substance attached to them.
A TEAMtalk exclusive has reported that Frank Lampard wants the Burnley number-one to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga. The same article also says that the Clarets would be willing to promote Joe Hart in the event that Pope was sold.
This speculation started in January when Arrizabalaga had been dropped by his manager; the Spaniard was struggling for form and Willy Caballero was preferred for the next five matches.
Arrizabalaga bounced back, though, with an excellent display against Liverpool in the FA Cup, a performance that pushed him back into the fray. Taking somebody out of the team doesn't necessarily mean they're finished at the club. It does give sensationalist journalism an opportunity to showcase itself but that's about it.
The way Arrizabalaga responded to the decision was outstanding. He returned to the team and played really well. Reports suggested that there was a lot going on in the life of the 25-year-old so perhaps Lampard was simply protecting his player. It seems unlikely that the club's record signing will be sold.
Even if he was, Pope doesn't seem like a suitable candidate for Chelsea. The Londoners seek to play out from the back and the Burnley stopper isn't particularly comfortable with the ball at his feet. He can launch the ball over half-way, of course, but a lot more is expected when you're at a big club.
Hart in mouth
If Pope was sold, there is some method in giving Hart the gloves. He has received a lot of criticism from supporters but that seems to be because he wasn't one of two men: Tom Heaton or Pope.
Heaton was a fan-favourite and many did not feel comfortable that he had lost his place to Hart. Pope, too, has a strong connection with the fans.
Hart isn't a bad goalkeeper but he just happened to be the man between the sticks when Burnley were on a terrible run of form in the 2018-19 season.
Pope won't go to Chelsea but, if he did depart, Hart wouldn't be the worst replacement in the world.