Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that he would not sell second-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech if he had the final say over his future, the Daily Telegraph has reported.
Cech was installed as first choice in goal upon his arrival and 2004 and kept his place for 10 seasons, but at the beginning of this season Mourinho replaced him with the younger Thibaut Courtois, hailed as one of the world’s best young stoppers.
As a result, the 32-year-old has been restricted to only a handful of Premier League appearances, while he has also appeared in the domestic cup competitions. With little chance of regaining his place from Courtois, Cech looks likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer having publically stated that he wants to play regularly.
Rivals Arsenal have been heavily linked with a summer move for the Czech Republic international, who has one year remaining on his current contract. However, should a bid come in this summer, the decision over whether he stays or goes is likely to be down to owner Roman Abramovich, rather than Mourinho.
But admitting his desire to keep Cech, the Chelsea boss said: “One thing is Jose Mourinho, and another is Mr Abramovich, and another thing is the board because the board is a little bit of me and a little bit of other people. If it was me, if it was my decision, the decision is Petr to stay. That’s it. It would be my decision for Petr to stay.” Even against his will? “Yes.”
“For me, decision number one, Petr will stay. After that, second point to go but not in England. The option I don’t want is for him to go to an English club. But, I repeat, I am just the manager and he means so much for this club and what he did in this club I think he deserves everything. If the club decision is different to mine I will accept it.”
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