Chelsea’s board are not looking to punish Kepa for ignoring Maurizio Sarri’s substitution request in the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City, according to reports.
The 24-year-old caused huge controversy at Wembley by refusing to leave the pitch when Sarri wanted to replace him with Willy Caballero ahead of the penalty shootout.
Kepa’s act of defiance meant that he remained in goal for the penalties, which City won to secure their first trophy of the season.
Sarri was furious with Kepa’s refusal to follow instructions but later insisted that the situation was due to a lack of communication between himself and the team doctor, who had treated the Spaniard for an injury just minutes before.
‘Kepa was right, but wrong in the way he conducted himself,’ said Sarri.
‘I was really angry. I want to talk with him because he needs to understand that we can get in trouble, especially with you [the media].’
But Kepa’s actions have clearly undermined Sarri’s position as manager and will only fuel suggestions that the Italian will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea are not planning to either fine or punish Kepa for his actions, with a club source saying that the goalkeeper and Sarri want to put the situation behind them.
Former Chelsea captain John Terry insisted that Sarri had to deal with the problem immediately after the game.
‘If I was in there [dressing room] I’d be expecting the manager to come in and deal with it instantly,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘It leaves Sarri in a tough place – I’m surprised he didn’t force him to come off.
‘It will be interesting how it pans out in the next 24 hours for the club.’