If, as seems likely, Petr Cech leaves Chelsea, it appears as though his first choice destination is the Spanish capital and the Bernabeu.
The Czech Republic international will forever be remembered as one of the best goalkeepers ever to play in the Premier League, having established himself as a number one of genuine world class talent since his arrival at Chelsea in 2004. However, he has lost his place this season to the Belgian international Thibaut Courtois, who had spent the past three years on loan at Atletico Madrid.
Although Cech has certainly not kicked up a fuss about this demotion and continues to be as professional as ever, it is only natural that a player of such ability will not be happy to play second-fiddle for the rest of his career. At only 32-years-old, it could be argued that he still has another eight years left at the top, and as much as he may be fond of the Blues, he needs regular action.
Arsenal, who need more competition for Poland’s Wojciech Szczesny, have been linked with the former Rennes star, whilst Liverpool – who most certainly need a new number one due to the erratic form of Simon Mignolet in recent weeks – would also be only too willing to take him from Chelsea. Yet it is debatable if Mourinho would allow such a key player to join a rival.
Another club who may be in the market for a new goalkeeper is Real Madrid, with neither the legendary Iker Casillas nor summer signing Keylor Navas particularly impressing for Los Blancos. Former Atletico Madrid youngster David de Gea is thought to be a target, but Manchester United are determined to retain their Player of the Year who has again been in inspired form this term.
Cech would be a perfect option for the reigning European champions: he has proved himself to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world and still has years left in him. Further to this, his agent, Victor Kolar, admits he has been in touch with the La Liga giants in regards to his client, telling Sport: “We’ve been in contact with Real Madrid, but they don’t need a keeper just now.”
So does this leave Arsenal and Liverpool with a two-way fight to sign one of the best number one’s in the business? Maybe, but it is unlikely any deal will be struck in January, although Kolar has given both optimism that the player could well become available at the end of the season, when he will be in the last 12 months of his contract and may be attainable for a cut-price deal.
“It’s unlikely Petr Cech will leave Chelsea in the January transfer window. The club and coach want to keep him to help win the [Premier League] title,” Kolar added to Sport. “I think Arsenal should have made an offer to him. I think Petr would be considering it. Liverpool need to strengthen their goalkeeper position and they too know Petr will be available in the summer.”
Can Arsenal and, in particularly Liverpool, afford to wait until the summer for Cech, or should they begin a bidding war when the January window opens?