Chelsea take on Liverpool on Sunday at Stamford Bridge, but Jose Mourinho’s press conference ahead of the match was an extremely lukaewarm affair. Even though this is a huge occasion on paper, the heat has died down a little with the Premier League title already in the bag.
Addressing the future of goalkeeper of Petr Cech though, Mourinho was extremely firm. But unfortunately, like he said, things are not in his hands.
“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,” said Mourinho.
“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.”
“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.”
This is on the back of widespread rumours that Cech is set to join Arsenal in the summer, after spending most of this season on the bench. Thibaut Courtois, who was recalled from his loan spell at Atletico Madrid, has replaced the big Czech in goal, and is set to be the first-choice for the foreseeable future. At 33, Cech obviously feels that he has a lot of football left in him and therefore wants to seek a new club.
Like he said, Mourinho will not be happy with Cech moving to a direct rival in Arsenal, but he may have no choice if the right offer comes along. Last season, he sold Juan Mata to Manchester United after the Red Devils splashed £37.5 million for the Spaniard.
The big goalkeeper has one year left on his contract, and is still valued highly by several clubs around Europe. Hence, it could be the right option for both parties to part ways if the right amount of money is put on the table.
Cech has made 485 appearances for Chelsea since joining from Rennes in 2004. His honours with the Blues include 4 Premier Leagues, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, a Europa League and a Champions League title. He is arguably the greatest ever goalkeeper in the club’s history and is loved dearly by the fans.
With Didier Drogba also set to leave in the summer, Cech’s departure would mean that out of the four pillars on which Chelsea’s success over the last decade was built (Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Drogba), only the skipper remains.