Petr Cech’s time at Chelsea looks to be coming to a close but he may struggle to move to the club he wants to.
A report from Sky Sports claims that Cech will sit down with Chelsea in the next 24 hours to discuss his future as the 33-year-old goalkeeper is keen to move away from Stamford Bridge in search of a starting spot and is said to favor a switch to Arsenal.
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Cech lost his role as Chelsea’s starter to Thibaut Courtois last season and his 11-year stay in west London seems to be coming to an end with his current deal expiring next summer.
But the situation isn’t as simple as it seems.
The Czech Republic international wants to stay in the Premier League and specifically in London. That means only one other club in England’s capital can likely afford his wages and offer him the chance to compete for trophies and play in the UEFA Champions League: Arsenal.
It just so happens that Arsenal are also short of what many would call world-class goalkeepers, with both David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny underwhelming at different times during the 2014-15 campaign. However, here’s the kicker…
Chelsea is reluctant to sell Cech to a potential rival for their Premier League crown as the goalkeeper would start at perhaps every other PL club apart from the Blues. It is also believed that Chelsea want a home-grown player from Arsenal in return for Cech’s services so they can balance their squad to meet the PL’s regulations. Paris Saint-Germain is also said to be interested, and Chelsea want to sell him to the Ligue 1 outfit, but Cech wants to remain in London with his family.
In his 11 years with Chelsea he has won 15 titles, including four PL trophies and a UEFA Champions League trophy, but last season he was restricted to just 16 appearances as Courtois shone during his debut season in England’s top-flight. There’s no question that Cech’s loyalty to Chelsea over the last 11 years will stand for something, but will Roman Abramovich and Jose Mourinho really let him join Arsenal as Arsene Wenger continues to build a side many believe will be capable of seriously challenging Chelsea for the PL title next season?
Probably not. Arsenal are perhaps a goalkeeper, striker and holding midfielder away from closing the gap on Chelsea, meaning that Cech’s arrival could be huge this summer if the Gunners offer him an escape roue from life on the bench at the Bridge.
Following years of tremendous service and pivotal performances at pivotal moments in the season to win Chelsea trophies (his penalty save in normal time of the 2012 UCL final and then three more PK stops in the shootout spring to mind), Cech deserves to have a big say in where he lands next. But will Mourinho and Chelsea allow sentiment to dictate their decision?